Enterprise Social Network Best Practices: Prepare for Crises

  With the right preparedness, your enterprise social network can serve as a valuable resource for keeping tabs on your colleagues and sharing wisdom during crises. 

With the right preparedness, your enterprise social network can serve as a valuable resource for keeping tabs on your colleagues and sharing wisdom during crises. 

It's always a good time to ensure your enterprise social network is ready for crisis situations. Enterprise social network community managers have the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that your company's enterprise social network is a well-oiled-machine ready to face weather issues, problems and other emergencies before they happen. How will you use your enterprise social network to handle unpredictable situations?

Here are 3 ways to leverage your enterprise social network during crises:

1. Urgent Broadcasts - keep your employees safe and informed

Use your enterprise social network to share extreme weather updates and notices that will impact commuters or employees in a specific region. One of my New York-based clients sends emails urging employees to work from home on days when snowstorms prevent safe, reliable travel to headquarters. Try using your enterprise social network in conjunction with email to broadcast your company's stance on staying safe during extreme weather events this winter. While email can be effective, it's possible that employees don't have power in the early morning hours. Your enterprise social network broadcasts should make their way to employees' mobile devices via push notifications, resulting in important notices arriving safely without internet or electricity. 

2. Team Check-Ins  - knowing that everyone is safe

When the power is out and managers want to ensure that their team is accounted for, an enterprise social network can be a very reliable tool to aggregate employee status and location details. In the event of a winter emergency, managers should send a message to their team with @mentions to each individual employee (triggering a push notification to their mobile device and an email alert). Members can then respond with their location and ability to come to work or their alternate needs, like staying home with kids when schools are closed due to snow. Because posts in an enterprise social network are visible to all, this check-in-practice creates instant transparency about everyone's location and well-being during a severe storm. The result is a common set of knowledge and expectations about who can contribute and when and where team members will be available, if at all.

3. Real-Time Hashtags - crowdsourcing storm updates

When major storms disrupt company operations, an enterprise social network community manager should create an official hashtag to help employees aggregate pertinent information about weather, outages, and safety information related to a particular storm. Examples might be #nov2018whiteout or #storm2018, depending on the frequency and severity of your region's weather issues. Community managers who have created a culture of effective hashtag use can apply this practice to individual storms and crisis situations, encouraging employees to tag their updates with a common, central hashtag about the storm. Employees can share updates about public transportation availability or delays, road closures, power outages, and even emergency situations where help might be needed. Smart companies can then review updates after the situation has cleared to better prepare for future emergencies.

With these simple practices, your enterprise social network can serve as a valuable resource for keeping tabs on your colleagues and sharing the wisdom of the crowds. How do you use your enterprise social network in a crisis situation?