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Today's tip is about how facility managers can use Facebook and other social media, like Twitter and Pinterest to connect with younger employees and occupants.
Mention social media to most facility managers, and chances are, you’ll probably be treated to an eye-roll and a proclamation along the lines of "I have enough to do without carving out time to goof around on the Internet."
Tell a facility manager that using social media can help his or her organization be green, and the reaction will probably be closer to overt scorn. But, believe it or not, that is happening more and more these days — facility managers taking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to disseminate information about sustainable (and other) initiatives.
Say, for instance, a facility manager at a university is working on a new recycling plan. What better way to keep students informed about the plan — and therefore get them to help — than to post information about the plan on either the university's Facebook page, or better yet, the FM department’s own page? How about a using Twitter to let students and faculty know when a demand-response event is in effect? Or setting up a Facebook event page to help get attendees to a meeting explaining a new energy efficiency initiative? Really, the possibilities are endless.
Twitter and Facebook may have the most impact among younger "occupants," but that doesn’t mean facility managers in other types of organizations can't use social media effectively, as well. Many professionals are using LinkedIn these days to network — to make contacts with similar professionals and to share information. LinkedIn is also a great tool for keeping abreast of industry news — green and otherwise.
Indeed, keeping on top of news is one of best uses for Twitter, as well. Even if you don't tweet yourself, simply subscribing to top media resources (blatant plug: like ours! @BldgOpMgmt), and important industry organizations (@USGBCM., for instance), you can stay informed quickly and efficiently. Oh, and don't forget to follow us on our own social media feeds to stay informed of what we're up to. Here’s our Facebook page. And, please swing by and check out our own social networking site, MyFacilitiesNet. It's like Facebook specially targeted to the FM industry.