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Who owns corporate social media?Social media 3105 views
With many corporate systems now coming with in-built social media tools, and bottom-up systems like Yammer & Socialcast gaining large numbers of users through exponential growth, who's job is it to prevent fragmentation of your internal social networks?
It seems like every corporate tool now has some element of social media contained within it. Sharepoint 2010 comes with a range of community tools (blogs, ratings, tagging etc). Salesforce has integrated its fully-featured Chatter social collaboration and networking product. Oracle has got the "Oracle Social Network" product. Project management tools, such as Huddle have integrated social tools. And every LMS vendor in the world seems to think their product contains the ultimate in social learning tools.
Alongside that, there are standalone commercial platforms like NoddlePod (worth a look just for a lesson in simplicity!), Yammer, Socialcast and Fusion Universal's Fuse. And in the open-source world, we have BuddyPress and Elgg.
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with the use of social media, and exploring its potential to improve the way the organisation runs. However, this now runs the risk of different parts of the organisation promoting their own particular networking or collaboration tool.
In a typical organisation you might find the IT team promoting Sharepoint, business managers promoting Salesforce, Internal Communications promoting Yammer, Learning & Development promoting Saba Social Learning, HR promoting Oracle, and your R&D mavericks promoting BuddyPress.
Multiplying social networks causes fragmentation of different interest groups - which is bad news for anyone hoping to break down organisational silos.
You could adopt a Darwinian approach and go for survival of the fittest - but that's not a quick route to change, and will potentially lead to a "space race" between competing departments.
My advice would be that there needs to be someone at the highest level taking responsibility, providing strategic leadership, working with system suppliers & integrators, and pulling together social media expertise from across the organisation.