Last updated: 06.04.13

Twitter 'engages' employees

Social media networks like Twitter can serve as an effective platform for connecting with supporters and employees.

This is according to Liam Barrington-Bush, founder of voluntary sector organisation Concrete Solutions and author of Anarchists in the Boardroom: How Social Media and Social Movements Can Help Your Organisation to be More Like People.

An extract from his book is published in the Guardian, which shows that Twitter can be used to break through corporate hierarchies and communicate with staff in an interesting and engaging way.

Mr Barrington-Bush recounts the story of Peter Wanless, chief executive of the UK's Big Lottery Fund, who was able to develop an industry presence through open and honest tweets.

According to the author, Mr Wanless successfully managed to open up business avenues beyond the confines of his London office by using the site and claimed: "I really think of Twitter as a place to exchange views and learn a tremendous amount."

The social network's educational qualities could be a factor employers everywhere take note of when thinking about how they could incorporate technology into their training processes.

Twitter could be used to advertise training sessions or even distribute tips employees would find useful around the workplace. It can also function as a platform for sharing interesting information that would help workers to grow as people during their time with a company.

However, Mr Wanless also told Mr Barrington-Bush social media can only go so far in engaging staff or stakeholders and if not used appropriately, organisations will find Twitter only amplifies the opinions of others, rather than allowing their voice to be heard.

It is not just business people that are recognising the benefits of Twitter - earlier this year, one school in Newport was found to be using the social media site to improve standards among its students.

Many of the teachers and pupils at St Julian's School are engaging with Twitter, with students using it to tweet homework questions to teachers and share tips with their peers.