Corporate Social Networks

Corporate Social Networks

Social networks are increasingly being used by organisations to enhance collaboration both internally and externally. In this week’s post, I will discuss how social networks can be used to achieve or address some of the objectives/challenges/opportunities that the International Geological Congress (IGC) may face. In this post, I will also discuss strategies in which the IGC can utilise social networking sites in order to increase a successful online presence.

Social media offers the opportunity for people to gather in online communities of shared interest and create, share or consume content. Globally the interest and participation in social media is growing at phenomenal rates. This interest also extends to corporations who are recognising that social media offers new opportunities to engage in conversations with customers and other communities with shared interests.

Social Networks, the IGC, Strategies…

When implementing corporate social networks in any organisation, it is crucial to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How will the social network meet our organisational needs and goals?
  2. What are the potential advantages or disadvantages if any?
  3. How will the social network align with our organisational values and culture?

Presence…

When organisations consider implementing a corporate social networking site, they must consider the idea of an online presence. By creating a successful online presence, the IGC will have the opportunity to freely advertise their event to millions of people around the world.

In regards to the IGC, utilising a social networking site such as Facebook can be used to attract the predicted 6,000 – 7,000 delegates to the event. The IGC can create a Facebook page and make use the ‘Events’ page where they will be able to take full advantage of the support that Facebook provides for hosting events on its site. In using this feature, the IGC will benefit greatly as Facebook can be looked at as a source of free advertising which will enable the IGC to attract more people to the event.

User Engagement…

In creating a corporate social networking site and an online presence, the IGC can consider user engagement. Through the use of Facebook, the IGC can engages it users by asking the public questions regarding the event – possibly asking delegates what they would like to see from the event. Delegates can use the IGC Facebook page as forum where they can ask questions about anything regarding the 34th IGC event.

In hosting such events as the 34th IGC event, corporate social networking sites are a great platform that can be used for freely advertising and attracting people to the event. Not only this, social networking sites are tools that can be used to keep delegates up-to-date with the event. This enables delegates to keep up with the progress of the upcoming event. Implementing a social networking site for the IGC will prove to be very beneficial for its upcoming event next year.

References

34th IGC. (2011). 34th International Geological Congress Organising Committee.

Fabernovel Consulting. (2008). Social network websites: best practices from leading services.

Gibbs, M. (2010). Why a social networking strategy is needed .

Telstra. (2011). Social Media – Telstra’s 3 Rs of Social Media Engagement.

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Corporate Wiki’s and the IGC

Corporate Wiki’s and the IGC

Corporate wiki’s are increasingly being used by organisations to enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing. In this week’s post, I will discuss how wiki’s can be used to achieve/address some of the objectives/challenges that face the Australian Geoscience Council (AGC) in regards to hosting and attracting a predicted 7,000 delegates to the 34th International Geological Congress (IGC).

What are Corporate Wiki’s?

Wiki’s are collaborative tools that enable users to build web pages where they can edit documents, share ideas, or monitor the status of a project in real-time. Since the introduction of wiki’s in the late 1990’s, wiki technology has only caught on in the last six years and is fast becoming part of the mainstream corporate IT infrastructure. Through the use of wiki’s, employees are able to access the required information in real-time in order for them to be successful.

An example of an organisation that has made use of a corporate wiki is Nokia. In late 2004, Nokia’s Research Centre created two wiki’s – one to collaborate on solving specific product design problems, and the other to explore alternatives to e-mail and collaborative software. Today however, Nokia has estimated that 20% of its 68,000 employees utilise wiki pages to update schedules and project status, and to edit files etc.

The Strategy!

In regards to the IGC, a corporate wiki can be a very useful collaboration tool for the organisation itself and for the 7,000 delegates’ attendance prediction. As I mentioned in my previous post, the IGC is a forum for presenting scientific results across the whole spectrum of the geosciences. The IGC facilitates the holding of business meetings, encourages international networking and provides the opportunity to study geological features of interest. The AGC is the organising body responsible for the 34th IGC which will be held from the 5th – 10th August in Brisbane, Australia next year.

Some of the major stakeholders of next year’s IGC include: Australian Geoscience Council (AGC), Australian Government, BHP Billiton, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), The University of Queensland (UQ), Rowland, and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Collaboration can be thought of as a series of conversations that help reach a strategic goal. It involves gathering people, asking questions, collecting answers and ideas, surfacing information, and receiving feedback. A wiki is exactly the same; however, everything you need is accessible from one place using a strong search capability. According to research firm IDC, employees spend up to ¼ of their day looking for information. The cost of this unproductive time can be as much as 25% of staffing costs. In regards to the IGC, a wiki can be used to keep its followers up-to-date on the progress leading up to the event. The AGC can use the wiki to advertise the event and will be able to post links to their website where visitors can view information regarding the event, what the event is all about, and the conferences included etc. Through the use of a wiki, delegates will have access to a centralised information facility where they will have the ability to search information that they require regarding the event.

References

Carlin, D. (2007). Corporate Wikis Go Viral.

Kenney, B. (2008). Seven Strategies for Implementing a Successful Corporate Wiki.

Lynch, C. (2008). Seven Tips to Success with a Corporate Wiki.

TrueReckoning. (2011). Why do we need a Corporate Strategy Wiki?

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Corporate Blogging Strategies and the IGC

Corporate Blogging Strategies and the IGC

If you can remember as far back as to my first post in the Enterprise 2.0 category, you will remember that I discussed blogging strategies in regards to personal productivity and the importance of an online presence through the use of blogging. In this week’s blog however, I will discuss corporate blogging strategies and how a corporate blog can enhance branding, corporate collaboration, connect with leaders and build better relationships with customers.

What is Micro-Blogging?

Micro-blogging is a social method of communication that enables people to communicate with one another through a series of ‘posts’ or ‘tweets’. Humans have an inquisitive nature, and it is because of this that we like to know what other people are doing, reading, writing, watching, listening to etc. Everyone is talking about or using micro-blogging in some form. Most people just don’t know that they are.

Twitter is an example of a micro-blogging platform. The short ‘micro’ nature of the ‘tweets’ means that they are quickly to write and easily consumable by readers. The openness, simplicity and flexibility of micro-blogging is one of the reasons why it has taken off.

What is the IGC?

The International Geological Congress (IGC) is a forum for presenting scientific results across the whole spectrum of the geosciences. The IGC facilitates the holding of business meetings, encourages international networking and provides the opportunity to study geological features of interest. The Australian Geoscience Council (AGC) is the organising body responsible for the 34th IGC which will be held from the 5th – 10th August in Brisbane, Australia next year.

Some of the major stakeholders of next year’s IGC include: Australian Geoscience Council (AGC), Australian Government, BHP Billiton, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), The University of Queensland (UQ), Rowland, and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The Strategy!

Like any other major event, there is always some form of issues or challenges that may arise. It is expected that 6,000 – 7,000 delegates will attend the 34th IGC next year. The biggest challenge for the AGC is to promote the event and to attract more and more people to attend. In order for the AGC to promote and attract people to attend the event, a micro-blogging strategy can be utilised.

Micro-blogging provides many benefits to organisations such as the AGC. Through the use of a micro-bogging platform such as Twitter, the AGC will have the ability to keep its followers up-to-date on the progress leading up to the event. The AGC can use Twitter to advertise the event and will be able to ‘tweet’ links to their website where followers can view information regarding the event, what the event is all about, and the conferences included etc.

Through the use of a micro-blogging platform such as Twitter, the AGC can keep its followers up-to-date with current information on the event and will able to reach its expected 7,000 delegates attendance.

References

34th IGC. (2011). 34th International Geological Congress Organising Committee.

34th IGC. (2011). Relationship Between the International Geological Congress (IGC) and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

MarketingTechBlog. (2011). Corporate Blogging Strategies.

Web2Practice. (2010). Microblogging.

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How ROI can be Calculated for Enterprise 2.0 Projects

How ROI can be Calculated for Enterprise 2.0 Projects

Return on Investment (ROI) can be a daunting and overwhelming task, but given the advanced analytics it is defintely possible. So what is ROI? ROI is a ratio – costs versus expected income. But in the case of collaboration environments (Enterprise 2.0 projects), it is not always measurable in money. This post will discuss examples of how ROI can be calculated for Enterprise 2.0 projects through employee engagement, turnover and sales.

Employee Engagement

Ogranisations that have implemented Web 2.0 technologies attract a much younger workforce. This group of young employees that utilise enterprise social software platforms in the workplace are more often engaged than similar employees who do not use these tools. Through the use of social media, employee engagement increase because they find that they become part of something larger than themselves and their departments. As employee engagement increases, knowledge and work become more transparent and employees are able to get real-time information and feedback. So how do you measure employee engagement? Employee engagement can be measured by viewing an employee’s usage of the enterprise social software.

Turnover

Employee turnover is another way of measuring ROI. Employees that utilise activity streams in the workplace are less likely to turn over than those that do not use activity streams. Acticity streams allow for enterprise collaboration, uniting people, data, and applications in real-time in a central, accessible, virtual interface. Through the use of activity streams, employees can find data that he or she never knew existed, collaborating around this information and accessing it in a variety of ways (e-mail, mobile application etc). In addiation to increasing employee engagement, social software platforms enable employees to get onboard more quickly, help them find the information they are looking for in order to be successful and and help them receive real-time feedback from co-workers. How can turnover be measured? Like employee engagement, turnover can be measured by viewing an employee’s usage of the enterprise social software. As well as this, turnover can be measured by obtaining data concerning the employee usage of the community as well as data that could have an impact on turnover rates such as tenure, salary, and market conditions.

Sales

Monitoring the level of sales within an organisation, is another way of measuring how ROI can be calculated through the use of social software platforms. As stated before, social media platforms provide employees with real-time information, thus providing them with key business insights enabling them to react faster to product availabilty, customer issues, current news on competitors, and other data that will help employees to be successful. So how do you measure sales? One way to measure the impact that social software platforms has on sales is to focus on the results of the sales team.

Employee engagement, turnover and sales are just three examples of ways in which ROI can be calculated for Enterprise 2.0 projects.

Here is a 6 minute video that I thought was quite useful in better understanding how ROI can be calculated for social media projects.

References

FourFiveOne. (2010). How to calculate the ROI of E2.0 or Social Business projects.

Hetrick, C. (2010). How To Calculate the ROI of Enterprise 2.0.

SocialCast. (2011). What Are Activity Streams?

Sogeti. (2010). Enterprise 2.0 return on investment whitepaper.

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The Coca Cola Company and its Social Media Policy

The Coca Cola Company and its Social Media Policy

In this week’s blog, I will discuss the legal risks associated with The Coca Cola Company as a result of their participation in social media. These risks may be internal (from employees and contractors) or external or a combination of both. Firstly, I will go on to introduce The Coca Cola Company and the services and products it offers and then introduce the company’s social media policy.

The Coca Cola Company

The Coca Cola Company was founded in 1886 by John Pemberton. The Company has been serving the refreshing drink for 125 years. The Company has more than 500 brands and 3,500 beverage products and sell 1.7 billion servings per day in over 200 countries. The Company operates in the beverage industry with 139,600 worldwide employees.

Its Social Media Policy

Organisations that participate in social media face many risks from their own staff and third parties. These are just some of the risks that an organisation may face:

  • The conduct of employees,
  • Copyright breach,
  • Misleading and deceptive conduct;
  • Defamation and
  • Reputation risk.

The Coca Cola Company has embraced social media in branding their products and engaging in debates and discussions with their customers. The Company has developed a set of Online Social Media Principles that will aid its associates to participate in the marketing and communications of The Company. The Company respects the rights of its associates by allowing its customers to use blogs and other social media tools not only as a form of self-expression, but to also further the Company’s business. However, in saying this, the Company has developed the following policies:

  1. Adhere to the Code of Business Conduct and other applicable policies: All Company associates, from the Chairman right down to the operational staff, are subject to adhere to this policy. This policy covers the disclosure of information and applies to an associate’s personal activity online.
  2. You are responsible for your actions: Anything that an associate posts can potentially tarnish the Company’s image will ultimately be your responsibility.
  3. Be a “scout” for compliments and criticism: If you are either an associate or unofficial associate of the Company, The Coca Cola Company urges all participants to monitor the social media landscape. If an associate comes across positive or negative remarks about the Company or its brands online, the Company urges that they report the comments.
  4. Let the subject matter experts respond to negative posts: If an associate comes across negative or disparaging posts about the Company or its brands, or see third parties trying to spark negative conversations, they must pass the posts on to an official spokesperson that are trained to address such comments.
  5. Be conscious when mixing business and personal lives: Personal and business are likely to intersect in the online community. It is therefore an associate’s responsibility to make sure they do not publish any negative and confidential information about the Company online that can be seen by more than friends and family. Associates must also remember to never disclose non‐public information of the Company (including confidential information), and must be aware that legal action can be taken.

It is crucial that organisations have a social media policy in place to not only protect their reputation by to also protect their employees and consumers.

References

Burrows, M. (2010). Legal/Social – Is there a Social Media Law?

SocialMediaToday. (2009). The Coca Cola Company Online Social Media Principles.

TheCocaColaCompany. (2011). Our Company.

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Benefits and Risks of Enterprise 2.0

Benefits and Risks of Enterprise 2.0

This week’s blog is about exploring the benefits and potential drawbacks associated with Enterprise 2.0. The term ‘Enterprise 2.0’ was first coined in 2006 by Andrew McAfee. Since then, it has grasped the attention of many organisations across the globe. McAfee’s idea behind Enterprise 2.0 was that organisations use Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis and blogs within the corporate intranet.

Implementing new technologies in any organisation will result in some form of change in regards to its organisational structure. Therefore, implementing Enterprise 2.0 is no different. With any form of implementation, there are always some benefits and risks associated.

Benefits

There are four key potential benefits of implementing Enterprise 2.0:

  • Productivity and Efficiency
  • Staff Engagement
  • Knowledge and
  • Reputation.

However, the two benefits that I think are most important in implementing Enterprise 2.0 include:

  • Productivity and Efficiency: Enterprise 2.0 tools are extremely important in that they assist in increased productivity not only in team projects but for individuals alike. There is also an increase in team performance and project management, where team interaction is accelerated thus producing a faster innovation and product development.
  • Reputation: Implementing Enterprise 2.0 technologies in organisations is becoming more and more popular, especially when reputation is concerned. Organisations are now discovering that the use of social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all great advertising tools. Using a combination of these social media tools, organisations have been able to get their brand name ‘out there’ and have also been able to communicate with consumers on a wide scale basis.

Risks

There are six ‘perceived’ risks and concerns in implementing Enterprise 2.0:

  • Security
  • Loss of Control
  • Reputation
  • Reliability
  • Productivity and
  • Resources.

However, the two risks and concerns that I think are most important in implementing Enterprise 2.0 that should be understood and addressed include:

  • Security: The safekeeping of an organisations data is undoubtedly the most important concern when implementing Enterprise 2.0 technologies. When implementing these technologies, organisations must consider security threats such as hackers, viruses and malware which the World Wide Web is renowned for being the major source of all threats. Other threats such as employees are also considered a security threat. Employees are considered as threats as they may knowingly or unknowingly publish information on an external wiki that was only meant for internal eyes only.
  • Reputation: Yes, reputation can be a good and bad thing when it comes to implementing Enterprise 2.0 technologies in organisations. The major concern with Enterprise 2.0 tools is that employees can make negative comments about an organisation on their personal Web 2.0 sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The following are examples of organisations that have had successful implementations of Enterprise 2.0.

  • Coca Cola – An out of work actor and his friend started up a Coca-Cola fan page – Success in letting the fans create and maintain content – 3.6 million friends agree.
  • Oracle – Idea Factory – Created to share ideas across the whole organisation – Success in generating excitement in applying 2.0 concepts to the workplace.

References

Dawson, R. (2011). Implementing Enterprise 2.0.

IBM. (2011). Implementing Enterprise 2.0.

Wildermuth, P. (2011). 21 Enterprise 2.0 Success Stories.

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How Does Web 2.0 Assist in Personal Productivity?

How Does Web 2.0 Assist in Personal Productivity?

What is Web 2.0?

The term ‘Web 2.0’ was first coined in 2004 by Tim O’Reilly. The idea behind Web 2.0 simply is having the ‘Web as a platform’, bringing your traditional desktop applications to the browser. You may not have noticed already, but we have all used a Web 2.0 tool in some way. Web 2.0 tools include social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter), blogging sites (WordPress and Blogger) and wikis. Google Docs is an example of a Web 2.0 tool that has been taken from traditional desktop applications such as the Microsoft Office suite to the Web.

Google Docs

In today’s increasingly complex computing environment, managing files can be a very difficult task to do. However, with the help of Google Docs, users can securely access, share, back-up and manage their files on the go. Google Docs is fully optimised for the cloud computing paradigm. Many disparate islands of data exist across devices such as desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices and in cloud applications like Google, and users are struggling to securely access, share and back-up their files across all these devices from anywhere and at any time. With Google Docs, users and organisations are able to solve this problem by seamlessly managing, backing-up, sharing and collaborating with their files in one comprehensive and easy to use cloud-based solution.

Here is a quick video introduction to Google Docs.

So how has Google Docs assisted in my personal productivity?

The first time I was introduced to Google Docs was through a mate of mine at university. We had just been given this massive assignment and he suggested we use Google Docs to collaborate and share our work. What started as an experiment, in my mind, to test Google Docs for this assignment quickly became a permanent solution for all my group assignments and I haven’t looked back! Not only is Google Docs easy to use, it’s really easy to share documents with friends, back-up files and manage documents where ever you are.

For me, Google Docs has been the solution to all my group assignments. It has helped with working together on the same documents simultaneously while sharing links and ideas in real time rather than having loads of different versions floating around. Thanks to Google Docs, working in groups has been a lot less stressful and a whole lot easier. Using Google Docs has also helped me to identify who has been slacking in my group assignments. I came up with the idea where everyone in the group uses a different colour font for their allocated sections (this way, you can see who has done what and how much they have contributed). Wink wink! Google Docs has been truly amazing in assisting with my personal productivity and I haven’t looked back. If you haven’t given Google Docs a go, I recommend you do, you’ve got nothing to lose.

References

Google. (2011). Google Apps for Business.

Google. (2011). Google docs.

O’Reilly, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0.

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