Here’s the situation: You’ve been dubbed the social media expert because it’s time to get your community organization into social networking. But Facebook is blocked at work, and you’re wondering how you can post about the next Zumba class when you keep getting the Access Denied screen.
This type of situation was a hot topic at last week’s social media workshop for local governments and P & R organizations. At the workshop, we discussed how to get around this issue in a non-sneaky way. Here is what people have been doing to use social media in a blocked office:
1. Make your case to IT (or whoever has blocking privileges)
The first step you can take is to convince the bosses that social networks shouldn’t be blocked. Here is some bait:
- 93% of adult US internet users are on Facebook (that includes your customers!)
- 1 in 7 minutes online is spent on Facebook (your members and customers are on Facebook all the time – this is a great way to communicate with them)
- You can use social media for marketing, customer service, interaction with customers, information distribution, and more
- To monitor what is being said about your organization online, you need access to social networks
Think about why your organization needs social media and build your case from there. Present it and try to get Facebook unblocked.
2. Add IT to your social media team
Ideally, social media responsibility shouldn’t fall on one person within an organization. Finance, IT, marketing, and directors should be involved in creating a social media strategy. If you involve IT in the process, they’ll start to understand how Facebook and Twitter can be used for an organization. Once you get the buy-in, discuss unblocking social networks in the office.
3. Schedule Facebook posts outside of the office
If #1 and #2 fail, you could schedule Facebook posts and tweets outside of the office. With tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck, you can schedule posts for any day and time in the future. If you take an hour or so out of work to schedule posts for one month out, you’ll be able to use Facebook for your organization while it’s still blocked in the office.
4. Set aside 5 minutes per night to monitor discussions
Simply put, Facebook marketing requires two tasks: posting and responding. Since #3 covered posting, this is how to respond: Let’s say you post about an upcoming event you are hosting. Your Facebook fans may have questions and will post them as comments under your post. By setting aside just a few minutes each night to check the page, you’ll be able to read and respond to the comments.
5. Last resort: use your smartphone!
If all else fails – IT will never unblock social networks and you’re too busy outside of the office – then resort to your smartphone. As discussed at the conference last week, people can access Facebook through their phones at work anyways. If you’re the one in charge of social media in an anti-Facebook office, then just use your phone!
If Facebook is working for you as an organization, they’ll change the office policy eventually.
Are social networks blocked at your work? Comment below.