Executives are realizing the potential of private social networks at an increasing rate; a recent International Data Corporation report shows 67% of the 700 companies surveyed have deployed enterprise social software in 2012. That’s up from 43% in 2011.
Private social networks drive communication and collaboration, breaking down geographic and organizational boundaries. But, to ensure best use of this technology, it helps to have a solid actionable plan consisting of these elements highlighted below:
Bridging the Gap Between C-Level, IT & Employees for Enterprise Social Success. You can’t just install an enterprise social network at your company and expect magic to happen. It helps to have one person in your organization, a dedicated community manager, who can make the transition to a more social business model much smoother. Having a liaison to act as an intermediary resource to IT, management and employees will help inform, guide and drive your enterprise social network’s usability and business value throughout the organization.
Training Employees in Private Social Network Use. Employee training is imperative and should take place with each new social network member prior to their using the site. Enterprise social networks create an instant feedback loop across the company, breaking down barriers but also requiring that all employees adhere to acceptable use standards. Ensure they have the tools and knowledge to do so. Review guidelines in training sessions, but also offer an opportunity for questions. Address any privacy concerns or inquiries about acceptable use to build employee confidence in the platform.
Monitoring & Management Reduces Risk. Ideally, employees will interact within the private social network as they would in any other professional environment, whether online or in person. Review alerts, monitor activity, and promote an open door policy for employees experiencing difficulties within the network to report their concerns.
Enterprise Social Policies & Procedures. Policies and procedure documentation must align with existing company policies and controls for a holistic approach to social integration. Policies set clear expectations for employees and management, addressing issues such as appropriate behaviour, acceptable use guidelines from work or home, and levels of access. Corresponding procedures lay the framework for crisis management, archiving, etc. For example, which person in the organization is responsible for deleting a post and under what circumstances would they do so?
Meet Technology and IT Requirements. Implementing a private social network across the organization requires buy-in from all employees, especially those in IT. Ensure network analysts and security analysts are up to speed with the performance and privacy requirements of your network.
How do you promote positive use of your company’s private social network? Share your tips with other readers in the comments.