Social Media is not my home base – I am a user of it – And I love it. Therefore I am supporting all people and opinions that vote for social media in enterprise organizations.
Using a few tools myself and discussing this topic with friends who work in other technology and non-technology companies, it becomes clear that there is a long way to go before organizations can leverage the full power of social media.
Most organizations that I know and that leverage social media for collaboration purposes. But powerful collaboration is inclusive and does not leave people behind. For example if you use a discussion board in your group to discuss thoughts and ideas, it is only producing super great results if all members of the group participate. And here in my opinion we can find two key reasons for slow adoption of social media in enterprises.
Adding instead of replacing: Why are not all the group members using the collaboration platform? Because it comes on top – it often gets implemented and employees can use it but at the same time have to feed the old channels as well. So if I am 100% busy (or 120% as we all think we are) there needs to be a very good reason to use something in addition. Of course, these new tools are nice and can often save a lot of time but only if everyone is on them – so adding instead of replacing might not be an ideal approach today.
Motivation: Now, if replacing is not an option, because a large part of the workforce doesn’t trust that social media can improve things and fear large inefficiencies (big problem in my friend’s industrial technology company) then employees need to be motivated to try social media as add-on. Waiting – as time will increase the level of self-motivation for this (just waiting for enough Generation-Y and Generation-Z employees entering the company), putting measures on people and ding them for not using the great new social media tools or celebrating a Social-Media-Employee-Of-The-Month are some of the ideas we discussed (me and my friends). But I guess all of that deserves more thoughts.
Here is my favorite idea: Let’s implement a Social Media day (monthly, bi-weekly, weekly) – on that day we cut access to traditional collaboration channels (phone, email) and only allow the usage of Social Media platforms. Maybe that helps to overcome some of the hesitance and skepticism which is still out there. And maybe it will proof to more people how valuable social media can be (I think I already said that I love these tools :)).