Social Media Within the Enterprise… 10 Ways to Ensure You’re Using it Right.

Social media can be an important component to successfully virtualizing the workforce in the contact center. A “social” business environment can effectively increase collaboration, communication and productivity. I read another good article in CIO Insight today. “IT Management Slide Show: Ten Ways to Elevate Your Company’s Social-Business Profile” by Dennis McCafferty . The list is a good one:

  1. Connect social apps to goals such as accurate forecasts, quick decisions and other employee-workflow areas of concern.
  2. CIOs and IT must work together to define new job positions, such as social-business analyst and community manager.
  3. Sharing and collaboration tools must be flexible so global knowledge workers can connect with suppliers, partners, customers anytime and anywhere.
  4. Traditional ID management systems create barriers to access. CIOs need authentication models that expand internally and externally, and link information between systems.
  5. Come up with a directory so that knowledge workers know where to find apps that support business functions. Make sure directory can be collaborated upon, and updated.
  6. Software is starting to allow non-seat holders to access information. CIOs must transition to this model without compromising data security/licensing agreements.
  7. IT should assemble broad outlines for collaboration tools, activity streams, etc., but help workers customize these capabilities to suit their needs.
  8. Take Advantage of Productivity Breakdowns. Demonstrate how improved use of social tools would have prevented such a situation.
  9. Win Over Multi-Department Middle Managers. In any organization it’s the boss in the middle who can advance or kill initiatives.
  10. Avoid the middle-manager “kill shot” by effectively conveying how social business will help his or her teams achieve productivity and growth targets.

There’s a lot of discussion around how Contact Center’s and organizations in general are using social media to communicate with their customers. Solutions like Radian6 have enhanced are ability to know what customers are saying about us and responding quickly.

But what about using social media internally? Why is it important? For work at home and employees that work outside the office walls social media is a critical tool for staying connected and experiencing your organizations culture. It’s a cure for one of the main concerns employees have about work at home… feeling disconnected.

But social media is more than that. It’s the virtual workers “water cooler” in the best sense. We all know discussing last Sunday’s football game isn’t the most productive use of time the unplanned collaboration that takes place in a five-minute conversation can be extremely productive. Social media insures that kind of interaction can continue.

Even better, certain types of social media, like Saleforce’s “Chatter”, allows organizations to direct and focus those conversations in groups engaged in specific topics, projects or parts of the business. This can speed the  speed the sharing of best practices throughout the enterprise.

How are you using social media with in your enterprise to communicate and to collaborate? Let me know how you feel about the ten points above. I look forward to your feedback.

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