As your company grows you find that you want to tighten up and control what your company publishes online, especially through social media. One of the ways to “let a thousand flowers bloom” is to open up your social media and enable employs to freely participate in corporate social engagement.
Of course this can only be properly done with training. Here’s a video interview I did in Feb 2011 on Dell’s head of social media. Dell has a campaign to train it’s employees in the proper use of social media and thus can enable more employees to communicate with customers through social networks.
In a recent press release McKinsey Global Institute writes:
Two-thirds of this potential value lies in improving collaboration and communication within and across enterprises. The average interaction worker spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mail and nearly 20 percent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. But when companies use social media internally, messages become content; a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35 percent, the time employees spend searching for company information. Additional value can be realized through faster, more efficient, more effective collaboration, both within and between enterprises.
The amount of value individual companies can capture from social technologies varies widely by industry, as do the sources of value. Companies that have a high proportion of interaction workers can realize tremendous productivity improvements through faster internal communication and smoother collaboration. Companies that depend very heavily on influencing consumers can derive considerable value by interacting with them in social media and by monitoring the conversations to gain a richer perspective on product requirements or brand image—for much less than what traditional research methods would cost.
To reap the full benefit of social technologies, organizations must transform their structures, processes, and cultures: they will need to become more open and nonhierarchical and to create a culture of trust. Ultimately, the power of social technologies hinges on the full and enthusiastic participation of employees who are not afraid to share their thoughts and trust that their contributions will be respected. Creating these conditions will be far more challenging than implementing the technologies themselves.