June 23, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Practical use for Social Media in Project Management – Part II: Blogging and Twitter

By Linky van der Merwe

For most Project Management professionals social media is already part of their lives.  This article will take a closer look at social media platforms, Blogs and Twitter and how they are adopted in project management.

Part I of this article, can be found here:

Practical use for Social Media in Project Management.

Practical use for Social Media in Project Management-Part II: Facebook Yammer

use of blogging in project managementBlogging

Blogs are made up of posts, which are short articles that appear in reverse chronological order on the blog. Blogs have an archive facility which will display historical posts by day, week, or month. In the project setting, it is the equivalent to a project notebook.

There are a number of ways blogs can be used to enhance the success of a project.

  • Project documentation – you can put all the project documentation on a blog.
  • Major milestone announcements – blogs are a great way to keep your team informed of the major phases that are coming up, as well as to recognize the good work your team has accomplished as milestones are passed.
  • Interesting pictures – keep blogs interesting by posting pictures of a product in various stages, or of people who are making a product that aren’t usually in the company newsletter.
  • Use of features – use comments fields, as well as tags and ratings features of blogs.

Decide early whether you want to use external blogging sites or internal blogs. Many products are available internally. SharePoint Workspace 2010 contains a blogging feature that your organization can use to create a blog that is private to your team.

Twitter for project managersMicro-blogging

Twitter is the most popular micro-blogging tool today. It allows you to send short messages to the internet, but limits the update to 140 characters and also permits your “tweets” to be protected. As with a blog, the tweets appear on your homepage in a long chronological stream, with the most recent comments at the top.

 

There are several ways to use Twitter to help you manage a project.

  • Project management articles – use search to find good articles about specific project management topics and best practices.
  • #Hashtags are used to help index the subject matter of your tweet. For example, the hashtag #pmot is used for tweets about “project management on Twitter”. When you click on the hashtag, you will immediately see a page full of the recent tweets that have used the same tag. This is a simple way that users can quickly filter for only tweets about specific subjects. You can also search for tweets by typing the hashtag in the Twitter search box. Other useful hashtags for project managers are: #projectmanager, #pmp, #project, #msproject, #project2010, and #pm. Also check #PMChat for Tweetups every Friday for an innovative way for project managers to get answers to project management questions and obtain different perspectives. Source: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-consultant/project-managers-get-social-with-pmchat/
  • Team hastags – a project team can decide on its own hashtags for the projects they’re working on. If your team is working on a business application project, you could decide on a hashtag to use across Twitter, such as #busapp. This will work for projects where security is less of a concern.

Twitter Lists

On the Home page of Twitter, your Twitter timeline can get cluttered very quickly. Twitter lists become useful as it allow you to group Twitter users. You can make a list of other users who are also in project management.  Every time you follow a person on Twitter who is also a project manager, you add them to your list. By following this process you will soon connect with project managers from all over the world who you can follow and collaborate with. Or create a list for your team relating to the project you are working on. Send them the URL of the list so they can see who you’ve added.

Consider  subscribing to other people’s lists. My Projectmanagement list contains 316 members and a number of subscribers. Now I can look at Tweets from project managers on my list and the lists that I’m subscribed to and see all the latest updates at a glance. I can retweet, share them with my followers or reply and collaborate.

Let us know in the Comments if you’re using Blogs or Twitter for your projects and how well that is working for you.

Please subscribe to the RSS feed to read the rest of the articles in this series.

Blogging with 6-step plan to attract clients to your business

Blogging will attract potential clients

For your Business Blog you can create a 6-step plan that will turn your blog into an effective tool that will drive potential clients to your business 24/7.

1.Define goals for your blog

Your goal for a business blog could be to become more known to your target market and attract clients to your business. To assist with goal setting, here are a few questions to answer about your business blog:

a) What is your blog’s purpose?

b) What are the goals for your blog?

c) Who is your ideal audience?

d) What is your core message?

2. Pick good blogging software

Blogging software starts with choosing blogging software that’s right for you. There are several choices out there like Typepad, Blogger and WordPress.org, but I prefer to use WordPress on my own domain for its ease of use.

3. Find topics that your target market wants to read about

Do research through online social networks and search engines to find topics. Also check out Technorati.com to find blogs on topics related to your niche market.

4. Always write blog posts that are of interest to your target market.

Once you know who your audience is and what their needs and interests are, it becomes easier to write content that is relevant for your readers. However, it is important to keep your content topical, informative and non-promotional. A blog post should be 400-600 words. Interactive media like images, videos or even polls and surveys will enrich your content.

5. Bring traffic to your blog

To get benefits from blogging, you need to create a strategy to bring traffic to your blog. One traffic strategy that works well for me is to use social media. My blog posts are syndicated to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as to other Social Bookmarking sites by using a WordPress plugin called OnlyWire. See a post I did about using Social Bookmarking for generating traffic and how to automate the process.

6. Convert blog traffic into clients

In addition to bringing traffic to your blog you need to have a procedure in place for turning your blog readers into clients. Remember that you want readers to return to your blog. Make it easy for them by providing RSS or email subscription on your blog. Also use opt-in forms to capture leads (name and email) in order to continue communicating with potential clients. Once they get to know, like and trust you, they won’t think twice to become your clients when you have something good to offer.

Please comment on what else works for your blog and why…

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