Social networks inside an enterprise

In this, and this  posts I talked about using internal blogs and wikis as a collaboration and project management tools, but still, not all people are welling to blog let’s not forget that it consumes time for writing a long blog and surely many others are not passionate about writing. Wikis are not conversational tools, and inside organizations their contents can be dealt with formally. IM massaging is not documented, it’s usually peer to peer and outside the browser.

This is why it’s very practical to have a social networking tool, to have an ongoing conversation which is easy for staff to involve in, post problems, solutions, ideas, socialise and network with each other. It also retain their talents and peer recognition, and sometimes, icrease their lifes!

However, as with any Enterprise 2.0 facility, adopting, using and sustaining it depends on the culture. You have to build your strategy depending on the current communication moods and norms, the social tools will just reflect what is there, and filter the best of it. Officeworks as our case example, can have the following points as a strategy for internal social network:

  • It has to be used as a main medium for announcements, to guarantee the regular access to, especially new employees announcements, so they start their careers on a conversation with the other staff, and it will make it familiar to them
  • Higher management usage for some conversations that can go internally public will make the staff more interested in accessing it
  • Specify a “no email day” to use the social network only for internal communication, and it’s better to be a “happy” day like Friday 😉
  • There are many tools that can be used, the tool is recommended to have the following characteristics:
    • It has to be installed on an owned servers, not using the famous services like Facebook because they don’t control them
    • Staff have to able to access it from anywhere on the internet. The social activities are usually moody, so, to flourish they shouldn’t restricted to work place.
    • As a tool, it has to has a mobile app, or at least a mobile friendly website, because most of the workers are in the stores, physically moving
    • It has to use the current users authentication and disable anonymous contributions

This post is dedicated to the internal use of social media only, for external usage, as marketing and resource building, you can check the following links from E2US team:


10 thoughts on “Social networks inside an enterprise

  1. Great Post! I agree with you that internal social networking is one of the most important part in Enterprise 2.0. However, I think Facebook still could be a good tool for corporate social networking if the company use the setting of Facebook properly.

    1. Yes, I thought about using Facebook may have some confidentiality concerns, but, in case of Officeworks, this may benefit their Facebook page that made to interact with customers to be more interactive and alive since making a staff only private page will drag the attention to what’s happening in the customers relation page.

  2. The no email day is really interesting. Maybe gradually, they can move away from email totally once employees are used to finding solutions themselves via Twitter or looking up the company’s Wiki. One way would be to assign different hash tags for different departments so that their questions can be identified immediately and hence the reply would be alot faster. Great post!

    1. I agree. A sanctioned no email day sounds fantastic! If your company only has a small number of employees you can use Yammer (intranet Twitter) for free – fast and easy way of collaborating and social in a workplace setting.

  3. Pingback: Building Officeworks’ Organizational Resources via Social Network | Chien Ju

  4. You have raised some great points here, I liked that article you linked to about increasing your life expectancy if you work in an environment where colleagues support each other and are more ‘social’.

    The no email day is also a great idea! However, as someone mentioned above using external sites like Facebook is not necessarily a bad idea. Maybe those employees who are more ‘active’ in the social space can be encouraged to become ‘representatives’ of the company – with their own Twitter accounts and promoting the ‘Officeworks’ brand. This would provide a more ‘personal’ image of the company and build trust.

    1. Yes, social life is part of our humanity 🙂
      For Chien’s idea about using Facebok, it is more like the normal life where people are willing to market the companies that they work for in their real social lives in a personal manner. I like your idea about the personal image of the company, I imagined if the responses of Officeworks’ Facebook page where done by the employees’ profiles, it will look so personal, and it will also saves the credit of the employee who contributed it

  5. Pingback: Relationship Retention and Leverage | ddgscpl

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