The smartest, most progressive companies in America are using social media to demonstrate brand strategy and brand value. It helps them recruit new (young) employees, create affinity with prospects, and retain and maintain existing customers. Social media is currently too tactical and not well governed, but that’s a topic for another post. That is what’s up in social media outside the company.
Social media inside the company is intended to extend and make more robust information sharing and collaboration with an end-goal of creating shareholder value. Social media within the enterprise started in earnest at trade shows like Web 2.0 Expo and Enterprise 2.0. Lots of companies are doing it well, but collectively we’ve only scratched the surface. The 10 years leading up to social media inside the company were the domain of software and consulting companies selling business processes reengineering (BPR) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). They made gazillions, but their solutions were 80% machine, 20% people. I like to think today’s social media offerings will invert that mix, but it will certainly be a challenge.
America’s free enterprise system rewards big ideas and breakthrough findings; our business history is filled with the names of inventors, yet we don’t have a lot of collaborator stories to tell. Companies like The Dachis Group are dealing with this needed culture shift. (A shift that might, someday, cure cancer more quickly.) Consultants of this ilk are studying how companies, enterprises and associations work — defining the 1s and 0s or the ons and offs of the enterprise knowledge worker. Dachis call it the Hivemind mentality. It’s not going to be easy. In America the hive always has a queen bee and lots of wanna bees. Stay tuned.