Reconciling the Conflicting Priorities of Your Enterprise Social Network

Competing Values

Social business is maturing and becoming part of the mainstream tool belt of many companies, yet success is still elusive for many. A recent article in PC World titled Many employees won’t mingle with enterprise social software states that the lure of an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) is often unrealized. The article also suggests that 70-80% of companies who are implementing an ESN are struggling with them. It goes on to list several reasons for this. They also include a decent case study from GE to demonstrate the success that can be achieved. However, I feel the article is too specific, leaving the reader to extrapolate how this applies to them.

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Selling Social Business to the CFO

In the social business arena, many strategists and practitioners have learned to dance very well. Usually they do their best moves when asked, “What’s the ROI of Social Business?” From industry experts, to vendors, to practitioners you hear lots of soft benefits from people when asked this question. Often, you hear some broad sweeping general statement such as Find experts faster or Improve innovation. I’ve written in previous posts that these terms are mostly jargon that must be demystified to be understood.

Another approach to estimating ROI is to look at the social media tool in use and suggest the value is people are logging on and participating. Another area of confusion is the topic of “engagement“. This term has been used for years to describe workers who are “fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work.” But somewhere along the way it’s been repurposed to mean “contributor” by the social business crowd. These definitions are completely different and can cause great confusions inside of companies.

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What exactly is “Social Curation”?

We are starting to see curation more and more in the social space, but what exactly does it mean? To better understand, let’s look at what most of us think of when we hear the word Curator. For most of us, this means a person at a museum who is responsible for what gets displayed.

A Social Curator isn’t much different. Each of us share information. We want to be seen as sharing high quality information that others in their networks will find valuable. (after all, if it’s not valuable to others, why share it?). If the quality degrades or the quantity increases significantly, chances are that members in your network will leave or find alternate sources for the information. To be a good curator improves your personal brand. It also shows people that you processing this information and not just sharing blindly.

One way to increase the value of the information is to share why you think something you share is interesting. At my former employer, there was a guy that shared tons of articles, but basically just forwarded them in e-mail. I would constantly write back to him asking him why these things were something that deserved my attention. In the end, I asked him to stop sending things to me if he was not going to summarize the value.

To be a good social curator, you need to be focused on what others find interesting. Try to put yourself in the position of the person receiving the Tweet, Status update, email, etc before clicking send. While the article, post, etc may be interesting, it’s your analysis that makes it valuable.

By better understanding what social curation is all about, it can help you focus on sharing quality content.

What strategies do you use to curate content for your network?

Image courtesy of: Randy Son Of Robert

Managing Expectations – The value of Transparency

A bad Day?

Last week, we (Alcatel-Lucent)were one of the companies impacted by the Jive Software Outage (@JiveSoftware). Our platform Engage runs on Jive S.B.S. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a long day. Working for a European company, this hit when they were all working (11am), and most of us in the US were still in bed. There was very little (no) communications to indicate that Jive was aware of the problem, let alone working on it. It was starting to get a bit frustrating entering hour 2 of a global outage.

By all account, it was through Facebook that I actually learned that other companies were impacted, not just us. Ted Hopton (@Ted_Hopton), one of my peers  from the 2.0 Adoption Council noted, “does not like bad news when he first checks the Blackberry in the morning.

followed by a comment when queried by another of his connections, “No, company website I run crashed.

It was then that I realized that we were not alone. That single piece of information actually made me feel better. Why? Because since multiple customers were impacted, I was sure that it was getting attention.

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