According to a recent survey, enterprise social media used at midsize and large companies will grow 42 percent by 2016. This is a huge increase! Why? Because employees want a consumer-like experience at work and to remain competitive in hiring, organizations are responding. Of course no organization enters into this decision lightly, but with a bit of planning the process should be relatively painless and benefit your organization with increased productivity. The following are four steps to rolling out a social platform.

Use Groups for Smart Sharing

Enterprise social media groupware, like consumer-facing social networks, allow people to create groups around common projects or interests. Instead of creating rigid rules, let employees create the groups that make sense to them. Then, audit groups occasionally to keep everything appropriate. Groups could be divided:

  • By team. Create groups for employees on the same team or in the same department.
  • By project. Project teams can collaborate on inter-departmental workloads.
  • By account. Build groups for people who are working on the same account, and include customers when appropriate.

Don’t forget the CEO rule

Remind employees that just like their own personal social networks, they should be cautious of what they share on enterprise social networks. When posting content or documents they should only share with the people or groups that need to see them. Likewise, "public" posts should be reserved for giving kudos, sharing media mentions or making announcements that everyone needs to see.

A safe bet when posting to corporate social networks is to live by the LinkedIn and CEO rules. If you wouldn't post it on LinkedIn, you shouldn't share it on company social media. Similarly, if you wouldn't want the CEO to see it, it doesn't belong on the enterprise network.

Know When to Send an Email Instead

According to the Radicati Group, the average business employee sends and reads 105 emails per day. Enterprise social has the power to slash email volume within your company, so train employees to replace emails with social media when appropriate.

  • Is it time-sensitive? If it's something that doesn't require immediate action, post it to social media instead.
  • How many people need to see it? Write posts for teams or people dedicated to certain accounts instead of copying them on yet another email.
  • Does it contain confidential information? Some industries, particularly healthcare, have to be careful about privacy regulations. If it’s sensitive information, don't post it to the company's social network.

Let Them Innovate

Deploy enterprise social media groupware with some general guidelines, but don't be too rigid when you set policies. If you give your employees some flexibility, they will develop surprising enterprise social innovations and adaptations.


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