At some point during your social business journey, you’ll figure out that being the new kid on the block or having the latest shiny new tool in your communications box only takes you so far. The novelty of today is the legacy of tomorrow. And, come on, “social” is not even that new anymore, so you can’t keep playing that innovation card. After a while, you’ll have to figure out what is the real difference between your social business platform, and all the communications and collaboration products that preceded it, like your intranet web content management system, your corporate wiki, your SharePoint or Lotus Notes, email and telephones. Otherwise, instead of solving a problem, you are simply adding to it by fragmenting the communications framework even further. Unless you can articulate the rationale for “yet another tool” and demonstrate the advantages in practice, your late adopters are unlikely to embrace it, and they will stick to what they are used to. What is the real unique benefit your social platform brings to your organization that you didn’t have before it? (Previous entries in this series: 1. Your choice of social platform does matter; 2. Beware of the social digital divide(s); 3. Metrics – social business friend or foe?)
This is part 3 of the Hindsight 20/20 series (here are the links to Part 1, “Your choice of social platform does matter”, and 2, “Beware of the social digital divide(s)”). This month’s post deals with the thorny issue of relying on metrics to assess the success of internal enterprise social platforms. Are metrics important? If not, why bother? If so, which ones tell you what is really happening? Naturally, full books can be written on this subject, so the modest objective of this post is to zoom in on typical questions that may come up when implementing your social platform.
This is part 2 of the Hindsight 20/20 series. Part 1, “Your choice of social platform does matter”, is here. This month’s post discusses the inevitable clash of cultures between the s0-called digital natives and digital immigrants when rolling out a social business platform in a large organization, and how to approach it. [Read more...]
A question I hear often after any presentation about the implementation of a social networking platform at the workplace is: what advice can you give to companies starting their journey now, or willing to reboot their strategy? Well, my first suggestion is that you actually ask that question to a wide variety of practitioners, both successful and not-so-successful, as each experience is unique and not fully repeatable. Having said that, there are a number of items that I do see as key factors that can make a major difference towards a successful rollout. In this series, I’ll be listing a few you may want to consider, no matter if you are at the beginning of your social business odyssey, or in the middle of a pause-rethink-reset strategy. To start the series, I’ll tackle the question: with so many vendors of social platforms around, and all offering similar capabilities at first sight, does it really matter which one you choose?
A quick Google search for “social media best practices” reveals 102 million results. If you narrow that down to “social business best practices,” you’ll end up with still impressive 82 million results and change. If you start digging down the results, you’ll find something even more interesting: advice apparently as conflicting as:
“Focusing on adoption as a success metric will likely lead to failure because it engenders resistance” (Deloitte, “Social Software for Business Performance,” 2011)
“Ultimately, adoption is the leading indicator of social business success” (Forrester, “Mapping the value of social business and collaboration,” 2013).
As you try to make sense of what industry analysts, business consultants and the so-called social media experts are recommending, you start wondering if there is anything that can actually be called “a best practice,” or if anybody out there really knows what they are talking about. Is the concept of “best practices” just a myth, a fabrication out of our MBA schools? Should we downgrade them to more modest “good practices”? Or even a non-commital “it-worked-for-us” practices? It turns out that we need to be careful to not throw out the baby with the bath water.