Enterprise social networking strategies

In my recent posts I have discussed the use of wikis and blogging strategies in terms of how the International Geological Congress can these great tools towards their advantage. In this post I would also like to continue with strategies by talking about a Social Network strategy using the IGC. But first of all we will discuss what a social network is and consists of, as well as its benefits.

What is Social Networking?

Social networking is a collaborative website of people together in one place. A perfect example of social networking websites is Facebook and Twitter. These two social networking sites are used by millions of people from a broad range of countries and cultures. Social networks like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways of keeping in touch with friends and family as well as making new connections with people based on similar interests or professions.

Social Networks and the IGC

When it comes to implementing a Social Network or any web 2.0 tools into your business, it is important to look at how it will meet your needs and goals. A big challenge the IGC faces both approaching the 34th International Geological Congress and while the congress is running is communicating with delegates and attendees before and during the event. In this post I will outline some Social Networking strategies that the IGC can use to create a successful online social networking presents.

The Strategies

It is extremely important to establish some goals before implementing them. The IGC will benefit from this strategy because it is always important to know your goals.

Creating a presence:

With out an online presence there is no real way to promote the IGC, the first step is to create a Facebook page for the event and assign delegates from the IGC to post on it. After the creation the that page it is very important to allocate time for social networking, track and measure your results and review your plan at intervals. Facebook is also a great social tool being used as a place for direct contact to people running the congress, as well as a great place to post comments, questions and feedback related to the event.

Encourage Participation

Social media has the potential to encourage participation amongst the delegates of the events. It can be used for the purpose of making making friends, connections or building brand exposure, networking is also key. One way to encourage attendance of delegates and encourage participation is to provide a way for people to develop connections for future job opportunities. This is where the social media can come into play, you can see what others that have liked on facebook page and who is creating posts and commenting on them. Through this it encourages promotions and participation amongst others who are attending or plan to attend.

Other Strategies identified

  • Track and measure your results
  • Review the current strategies and plans
  • The choice of social networking sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter
  • Allocate time for social networking
  • Participation/Collaboration

Conclusion

Social networking can be a great platform to help facilitate campaign advancements and participation in the events. It is also a great tool used to keep attendees informed and up-to-date with the event so as to not feel “left behind”. Social media can create a platform for a social attendee lists, starts conversations, encourages meet ups, and allows conference organizers to react to issues immediately. Incorporating social into IGC’s conference simply makes the experience better.

References

How to use Facebook for business and Marketing 
7 essential elements
Social networking
5 Winning Social Media Campaigns to Learn From
How to Build a Social Business 
Facebook
IGC
Advertisements

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Wiki Strategies – IGC & Collaboration

What is a wiki?

A Wiki is an online collaborative Web 2.0 tool that allows numerous users to write and edit articles. A wiki can be used to gather information and supports multiple pages and external hyperlinks. Wiki’s are collaborative tools that enable users to build web pages where they can share ideas, edit documents or monitor the status of a project in real-time.

A great example of wiki use in organisation is Nokia. In 2004, Nokia implemented the use of two wiki’s, the first being a collaborative tool to be used for problems solving in particular software design problems. Whilst the other implementation was used to explore an alternative to emails and other collaborative software.

Why use wiki’s?

The use of Wiki’s in organisations is on the increase, due to that more technologies are going online and it enhances collaboration and the sharing of knowledge. This blog post will discuss how wiki’s can be used and implemented to address some key areas the Australian Geoscience Council (AGC) in regards to hosting and attracting a predicted 6,500 delegates to the 34th International Geological Congress (IGC).

Benefits to the IGC by using wiki’s

  • Knowledge sharing – By letting members publish their own content with only a few clicks, they would be less likely to with hold the known knowledge and are more likely to share the information.
  • Knowledge transfer – Ideas would be exchanged person-to-person, in one step, eliminating distortion and filtering.
  • Increased engagement –People that could add and edit content would feel a sense of ownership over their content. Because this leadership would be putting trust in people it would in turn, be more likely to trust the event and the organisers.
  • Content Errors– If anyone sees an error, they would be able to fix it immediately, reducing inaccuracies.

The common pitfalls to the IGC by using wiki’s

  • Reluctance to edit – some people may reluctant to edit other peoples work
  • Familiarity with tool – it may cost time for people to familiarise themselves with new tools
  • Need to establish appropriate process – e.g. who can edit what (sensitive document) or company policy

By promoting the wiki and providing a framework of information to work from, the wiki can be a successful way of providing staff, delegates and visitors to the event public information related to the International Geological Congress, activities around the event, and more.

Refrences

Carlin, D. (2007). Corporate Wikis Go Viral. Retrieved October 7, 2011
Kenney, B. (2008). Seven Strategies for Implementing a Successful Corporate Wiki. Retrieved October 7, 2011
Lynch, C. (2008). Seven Tips to Success with a Corporate Wiki. Retrieved October 7, 2011
TrueReckoning. (2011). Why do we need a Corporate Strategy Wiki? Retrieved October 7, 2011

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Enterprise Strategies – Microblogging

In previous posts I have discussed blogging and its strategies, though these mainly revolved around personal productivity and online presence. In this blog post, we will discuss the implementation of microblogging in the sense of using it as a strategy in the corporate domain, for the betterment of promotion and keeping the general public at bay with upcoming organisation topics.

What is microblogging?

Microblogging is defined as a being a “broadcast medium in the form of blogging that is different form a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actual and aggregate file size. It allows user to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images or video links.” Wikipedia

Whilst there are a number of articles and organisations that promote their own strategies for microblogging I will attempt to outline some simple microblogging strategies for International Geological Congress (IGC). Two great microblogging tools that will be as part of the strategy are FriendFeed and Twitter.

What is the IGC?

IGC stands for International Geological Congress. It is the leading global forum for the Earth sciences. The 34th IGC is to be held in Brisbane, Australia in August 2012, which is to be hosted by the Australian Geoscience Council(AGC). The IGC is the major multi-disciplinary global event for reporting on and discussing the latest geoscientific research, applications and international cooperation.

With the expected turn out projected to be around the 3000-5000 mark, there needs to be at least 6000-7000 to cover the expenditure. In preparation for such a sizable event, there are many challenges the AGC have to overcome and identify for this event to become a success. The biggest challenge of this event is creating a greater interest and promotion for this event. The first step is to create a broader awareness of the event and then promote it is through a social media driver, this is seen as a vehicle that will help to achieve this objective.

The Strategy!

One of the biggest contributions that microblogging provides to events such as the IGC is it has the possibility of detailing live updates to its followers as they unfold. This combined with other great tools such Google maps enhances the user experience and gives them up to date information to follow.

Another great method to gain followers and maintain interest is by setting up promotions and providing links to relevant information and websites, videos and other blog posts that are relevant to the delegates attending the IGC. This will attract people who are interested in geoscience to the AGC twitter, where the users will learn more about who the AGC are and what the IGC is.

Though through the use of twitter as a main microblogging strategy how much you get out of it will depend on how much work is being put in. It is therefore important to consider the appropriate information posted and make sure it is relevant, engaging and provide latest news updates for the event, any changes and promotions.

Final Verdict

 Through the integration of microblogging and other social media networks such as twitter, the AGC will be able to interact and connect with the broader community as well as the delegates that will participate in this event. As the use of microblogging is growing daily, it has the possibility to generate interest and awareness, which can greatly increase the number of delegates that are attending.

 

References

34th IGC. (2011). 34th International Geological Congress Organising Committee. Retrieved September 28, 2011

34th IGC. (2011). Relationship Between the International Geological Congress (IGC) and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Retrieved September 28, 2011
MarketingTechBlog. (2011). Corporate Blogging Strategies. Retrieved September 28, 2011
Web2Practice. (2010). Microblogging. Retrieved September 28, 2011

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Return on Investment with Enterprise 2.0

Return of Investment (ROI) is a way of considering and measuring profits in relation to investment. ROI may be suited for some areas of business, but in terms of measuring the implementation Enterprise 2.0 this form of analysis is neither as accurate or straight forward to use, compared to measuring conventional solutions.

Return of Investment is used by organisations to calculate potential losses or gains before a project is started, implemented or major financial decision is made. ROI comes from the activity and the actual collaboration of its users, not from the technologies themselves.

Over the past few years, many companies and organisations have spent a large amount of time and money to try and identify and perfect a “ROI Model” in terms of Social Media. These include Wikis, Blogs, Micro-blogs and other Social Media’s. The problem arises, as there is no real definitive way to create a ROI equation for the implementation of Enterprise 2.0 tools. How does one go about measuring the effects of better organisation, increased productivity and less email overhead?

How do we measure it?

How are they going to measure it though? Well first it is important know what exactly you want to achieve. With this, an appropriate formula can be used to calculate the ROI. There are several different formulas, all of which measure difference aspects.

1.ROI = (revenue – investment) + targeted engagement (new clients) / investment * 100.
This will establish new leads attained from the project, though however can be used in measuring conventional advertisement campaigns as well as social media sources.

2.ROI = (revenue – investment) + employee retention / investment * 100. 

With employees, profitability and productivity will increase and means employees are less likely to leave. This can be compared against how much it would cost to train a new employee.

3. ROI = (revenue – investment) + customer engagement and idea generation / investment * 100.

Engaging customers build customer loyalty and brand awareness. It also makes customers feel they are more connected and that they are dealing with real people.

Below are some concepts that can help demonstrate the benefits and ROI within Enterprise 2.0 Technologies, and some of the ways and difficulties of measuring them:

ROI Breakdown

1. Increased Employee Engagement.

We’ve talked about Employee Engagement in my previous post Benefits and Risks of Enterprise 2.0. Enterprise 2.0 technologies bring the staff together and get them involved in something much larger than themselves. It leads to better internal communication with in the company, and with it also comes a more effective learning and deployment environment due to bringing such fast amounts of technology together.

How to measure: though surveys which most companies already conduct anyway.

2. Turnover

Social media in the workplace helps new employees adapt into the workforce a quicker rate as opposed to workplaces with no enterprise 2.0 technologies. Employees are also more likely to stick around a workplace, which takes advantage of enterprise software. An employee turnover is estimated at 100%-150% of the annual salary and reducing the amount of turnovers even by 1% in a larger company can save millions.

This is measured by observing the amount of turnover before and after the implementation of the enterprise 2.0 software.

3. Organisation Agility:

Organisation Agility is the idea of self-actualisation, and includes being able to see changes in markets faster, shifting resources in response to new opportunities and needs, and moving on from initiatives such as programs, markets and products that no longer work or are failing; The ideology of a company being more “Agile”.

ROI in Enterprise 2.0 is a hard thing to measure, though when organisations set out goals of what they wish to achieve, how to reach those goals, and ways to measure those goals, they can create models to suit their own company to help justify the use of Enterprise 2.0 tools, and calculate the Return of Investment.

I would like to end with a great Slideshow on the ROI of social media

References

Carpenter, Hutch. (2010). Retrieved September 10, 2011 from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Enterprise 2.0 ROI.
Kim, Aaron. (2011). Retrieved September 10, 2011 from ROI 2.0, Part 3: We don’t need a Social Media ROI model.
Hinchcliffe, D. (2009). Retrieved September 10, 2011 from Determining the ROI of Enterprise 2.0.
McCarnan, Jacquie. (2011). Retrieved September 11, 2011 from Social Media ROI for Idiots.
Wikipedia. (2011). Retrieved September 10, 2011 from Return on Investment.

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Legal Risks of Social Media – Cisco

In my last blog post I discussed the benefits and risks of implementing Enterprise 2.0 into the business realm. While this is all well and good, we did not touch on the legal risk and implications to the company in regards to the use of Web 2.0 tools.  Grasping the legal implications that Enterprise 2.0 can have on your organisation can be slightly confusing. Businesses have found a new place to present themselves through social media sites. Having a channel available to communicate with customers in a non-formal way creates connection and awareness, though can leave a company vulnerable to their own Enterprise 2.0 success.

Social Media Policy (SMP)

According to Dundas Lawyers: “A Social Media Policy (SMP) is a document that suppliments a contract of employment to be legally enforceable by an organisation on its employees. The aim of an SMP is to clearly communicate what is acceptable conduct on Social Networking Sites by an organisations employees and contractors and what conduct is unacceptable and would make an employee liable to dismissal. An SMP is distinct from an organisations Social Media Strategy (SMS) which is a high level document that communicates how an organisation plans to participate in social media.”

social media policy is a must have legal document for any company. An SMP may protect or attempt to address the company both internally and externally for the below:

  • Copyright breaches
  • Privacy breaches
  • Defamation
  • Conduct of employees that an employer may be vicariously liable for
  • Discrimination claims
  • Trademark
  • Confidentiality breaches

Organisation Case Study: Cisco

Cisco is a global corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, voice, and communications technology and services.

In this following case study we will analyse and discus policies that they have set in place.

Cisco can be found on many social networks, including Twitter and Facebook; and are no strangers to implementing Web2.0 tools for internal use.  While this creates new openings for collaboration and communication, it creates new responsibilities for Cisco employees. Being a big company embedded into social networking, there are lots of legal concerns that Cisco has to consider.

Confidential information and breach of continuous disclosure obligations

In Cisco’s SMP it is made very clear the legal implications and internal dealings if any unauthorized information is posted. “Your Internet postings should not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the company or to any third party that has disclosed information to Cisco.” Posting any confidential materials may impact the company in a negative way and may effect business competition. Releasing of internal documents is threatened with contract termination and the pursuit of legal advice.

Copyrighted Infringements

Social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogs enable users the ability to upload content such as music, videos, text files. This leaves employees venerable to uploading copyright material to these websites, which can be a major legal risk with daft implications to both the company and the individual.

Cisco in their SMP state: “Because you are legally responsible for your postings, you may be subject to liability if your posts are found defamatory, harassing, or in violation of any other applicable law. You may also be liable if you make postings, which include confidential or copyrighted information (music, videos, text, etc.) belonging to third parties. All of the above mentioned postings are prohibited under this policy.”

Conclusion

While it is always difficult to avoid a social media disaster from happening, implementing a social media policy is the best way to inform your employees about the risks that is involved and having a preventative option in place.

Cisco have made their social media policy available for public viewing and ironically it has been published on their public blog.

*Note*The materials and information provided in this blog itself are general commentary on the law only.  It is not legal advice

References

http://blogs.cisco.com/news/ciscos_internet_postings_policy/ http://blogs.cisco.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cisco_Systems
http://socialmediatoday.com/davefleet/151761/57-social-media-policy-examples-and-resources
http://www.onlinesocialmedia.net/20110817/playstation-vita-expanding-experience-apps-for-social-networking/
http://www.dundaslawyers.com.au/index.php/legal-services/technology-law/social-media-law/

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Benefits and Risks of Enterprise 2.0

Enterprise 2.0 is rapidly growing, many workplaces are now discovering that social media tools such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are great for advertising their brand and communicating with customers as well as for company related collaboration and communication. Major organisations such as Microsoft, IBM and Novell and other large corporations, through to even the United States Government are also introducing Enterprise 2.0 tools into the realm of business. By taking a closer look at the increasing adoption of Enterprise 2.0 we will look further into the benefits and risks of how these tools can have an impact.

Benefits

Productivity & Wisdom of the Masses and Collaboration

Through the use of Web 2.0 tools it leads to easier collaboration and better team effectiveness it can also improve team performance and enhanced trust building, accelerated interaction. Traditionally most work was conducted through email which can sometimes be one sided. Novell has taken to the use of wiki’s as a standard means to facilitate collaboration, documents, articles and idea sharing. This beats the traditional method of email and opens up the so-called “wisdom of the masses” and allows for greater productivity and information sharing.

With Web 2.0 organisations and companies open a platform for their customers to provide feedback through uses of twitter, blogs and facebook. This can prove important with customer relations and opens a path for the company to take on board any creative criticism or other general feedback from their clients.

Risks

Having a ‘Social Media Policy’ in place can reduce the risks that are mentioned below, but are not limited to.

Information/Company Security

This is undoubtedly is the biggest issue within implementing Enterprise 2.0. The major concern is how to use these tools without the risk of an employee purposely or accidently releasing sensitive information about in-house company information. If you allow people to upload/download files to these systems, how will you prevent malicious files from entering your network? While sharing content and information is a great idea, you still have to protect your company, an open system such Facebook or wikis this makes it a challenge to maintain security.

Reputation & Reliability

Introducing Enterprise 2.0 tools into a business, employees now leave the company exposed to unforeseen comments or posts that may tarnish the company’s image. For example, Staff may make negative comments about their company or their clients on public Web 2.0 sites or post up information that is unreliable and incorrectly used or provide unclear or misleading instructions.

A case study produced by Symantec has shown that “The typical enterprise experienced nine social media incidents, such as employees posting confidential information publicly over the past year, with 94 percent suffering negative consequences including damage to their reputations, loss of customer trust, data loss and lost revenue.“

Examples of successful implementation:

McDonalds – A real time blog and feedback awareness platform available once a week for employees

Novell – Uses wikis in a variety of ways across their enterprise for projects, events, logistics and conversation.

Telstra’s 3 Rs of Social Media Engagement – An example of a Social Media Policy; Used by Telstra.

References:

https://wiki.aalto.fi/display/Glostra/Enterprise+2.0+-+Benefits
http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20110721_01&om_ext_cid=biz_socmed_twitter_facebook_marketwire_linkedin_2011July_worldwide_socialmediaflashpoll
http://www.tagmantic.com/sites/portals-and-km-making-wikis-work-at-novell/378899
http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_social_software

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Productivity with Web 2.0

What is Web 2.0?

The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate blogging, social networking/media, forums, wikis, video sharing, webcams, and file sharing, etc. It is built for the user to generate that content in a community framework.

Most people accosciate the term ‘Web 2.0’ with Facebook, blogs and twitter and consider them time-wasters, while this can be true there are a number of ‘web 2.0’ tools that exists that can help the end user maintain a level of productivity.

How can Web 2.0 Boost Productivity?

Over the duration of my academic years I have come across and tested my fair share of Web 2.0 tools in hopes that they will increase productivity levels. I will give some examples of them, and the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ it has helped me in my quest to achieve an efficiency in my work and in term hopefully help yours.

 Social Networks

Social media can take up a lot of time.  But there are tools and techniques that can help you be more productive in your social media activities. For example, setting goals. Using social networks such as blogs, twitter and even Facebook as a place to publicly broadcast your ‘to do list’ or goals is a great method of motivation. Posting my goals on Facebook has helped me boost my productivity levels in a way due to that friends will encourage or ‘Like’ your posts. I tend to find myself reading others wall post on Facebook to see how much study or work they have done and it builds up a form of ‘competition’ in a sense to get motivated.

The use of blogs and other information sharing social networks such as wikis have built a path into a coined term known as ‘E-learning‘. E-Learning is a great resource as most information is posted online, and through the use of collaborative Web 2.0 tools learning becomes more enjoyable and efficient thus improving personal productivity.

DropBox

Dropbox

I have used  Dropbox since beginning my university degree in 2010. Dropbox is a great web 2.0 application that stores files online and syncs all your files between all devices with Dropbox installed. Dropbox is multi-platform thus meaning it is compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Applications have also been developed for mobile devices such as iOS and Android phones. Dropbox offers great group and team sharing features and uses 256-bit AES encryption, it also includes deleted file recovery  and version control for up-to 30days as well as an event log.

A shared Dropbox folder can be created, this is a very useful feature when doing group work as the whole group have access to files which they too can read, write and edit. This can greatly improve productivity within group work, this is primarily due to that collaboration is now easily performed and files can be kept and backed up in one place and shared with ease.

Other Great Web 2.0 tools to check out

For further information on the uses of Web 2.0 to increase productivity. As a Enterprise 2.0 consultant I would recommend checking out the below link to watch a short video on how to incorporate some web 2.0 technologies into the business spectrum.

Wikis and Sharepoint (Business Productivity)

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