Think of Enterprise Social Networking as an internal version of Facebook. It can provide all the on-line social interactions your teams are familiar with but not out in the public domain. A set of communities private to your organisation.
If your organisation is large it can be of real benefit. Enterprise Social Networking is particularly effective in environments where staff are dispersed across many locations or travel frequently. Enabling employees to feel part of the organisation by helping create a community spirit within departments and across related roles.
Supporting tools are maturing. There have been a number of products on the market for a few years now, including Jive, Yammer, Confluence and SocialText. Take up has been steady but not a revolution - many are skeptical about the benefits. However, many larger firms are now taking a serious step towards their own social networking solution. Swiss RE, T-Mobile, Nike and Cisco are examples of large corporates who have already embraced social networking at the enterprise level.
With a market that is predicted to grow by over 50% over the next 3 years it is clear that software vendors are investing in the toolsets and many firms are looking at gaining the benefits of increased collaboration within their own business communities.
But how do you begin to introduce such a change?
It can be a hard sell in the boardroom - as the business case can be difficult to form. We believe there are four key tricks to getting enterprise social networking working for you:
1. Change of mindset from the top
You will need commitment from the top of your organisation to make it work.
2. Senior stakeholder buy-in
Not everyone in the organisation will be convinced, so you will need a key stakeholder to help convince them.
3. Understand your social business groups
A key to success is defining the right set of communities of like-minded staff which will help build the self-generated material that's needed. Get it right and your groups will communicate naturally.
4. Trial it
Get it out there and see how your people react. With a focus on a small community and the right solution, you’ll be surprised how quickly people become engaged - and a pilot gets you great evidence to use in a full roll-out business case.
Do you need help with your social networking strategy, understanding the solution landscape or building your compelling business case?
Our social networking specialists can help. They know what works, understand the complexities of creating an internal social network and have the experience to build a business case that gets board approval.