Five random learnings from enterprise social media deployment

While preparing for last week’s Simply Summit, a number of random points floated into my mind about things to consider when deploying social media tools onto a corporate intranet. I kicked off with these points which I’ve re-produced below:

1. The old rules still apply

Over many years, intranet managers have learned hard lessons around the best ways to manage intranets and intranet content. Some social-media-types will tell you that social media changes everything … it doesn’t … and the lessons we’ve learned over the years are still relevant. However, while the old rules may be the same, the issues will almost certainly be different. The best example of this is governance … social content still needs to be governed but you’ll need to think about different and more appropriate ways of doing this with user-generated content.

2. It’s a journey, not a magic bullet

As obvious as it sounds, change takes time to happen … if someone is selling you an all-singing-all-dancing social media platform which will “transform you organisation overnight …”, I recommend you ask them to leave. Years ago, when I first started working on intranets, I had a slide with this simple equation on it … the technology in question back then was a basic intranet – but the sentiment is as relevant today as it was back then (see bullet point 1 above!)

New technology plus current organisation equals expensive current organisation

The other thing to note about this is that you need to stick with it and not get downhearted when it feels like you’re getting no where.

3. A bottom-up culture needs top-down support

While social media evangelists like me like to think of ourselves as subversive freedom fighters taking on the might of the corporate machine, you’re going to find it pretty tough to get anywhere without support from your leadership team – even if that support is tacit rather than openly exhibited. The technology can’t do it alone … (see bullet point 2 above!)

4. Content types should complement each other rather than compete against one another

I covered this in my last post, so won’t bore you by repeating it here again.

5. Sometimes the only form of transportation is a leap of faith!

Don’t get sucked into endless debates about ROI etc. … sometimes you have to do stuff because you know it’s the right thing to do. Social media is right for organisations … it’s right for employees … and it’s right for customers.

… here endeth the lesson :-)

[P.S. ... don't you just hate it when people use the word learnings ... euchh!]

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