Social Network Strategy – IGC

17 10 2011

Social networking has grown vastly in size over the past few years. Although we see it as just an every day tool that we rely for someone who is new to the term it can be quite confronting. The open ended nature of social networking can be described using an example like high school. A student may have quite a few friends within the school who also have other friends. The chain goes on and this is how you create a social network. Social networking websites such as facebook use this idea with web based technologies that allow users to add friends and interact with one another.

A new upbringing is the use of social media within the enterprise. Companies all around the world are using these technologies for internal and external communication.

“Asked to rate the effectiveness of specific social media sites in their marketing efforts, more than half the respondents said that facebook was extremely or somewhat effective…” [1]

Internal Benefits-

  • Engagement – The use of social media within the workforce will engage employees with there tasks and computers helping with more production of work
  • Communication – Almost all social networking sites have a chat bar which will help employees contact one another on a medium that may be more enjoyable than the usual email.

External Benefits-

  • Advertising- Open source of advertising giving large potentials to company’s waning to get their name out
  • Viral Growth- Social networking grows rapidly so once the chain reaction begins the opportunity available for advertising and brand making.
  • Communication- Allows communication with public member for reviews and customer feedback.

Strategy 1 – Advertise

Advertising is an important aspect with Social networking websites such as Facebook. you can promote who you are as a business through the use of viral marketing and show the public what is is that you are offering. IGC can use this technology to promote the conference and give a list of upcoming dates.

Strategy 2 – Interesting Content

Content on the social networking website has to be kept interesting to keep people interacting with your page. This can be done through the use of keeping information modern and filtering any junk that is on the page. Use of pictures and easy to read post will also help with this.

Strategy 3 – Build Community

Social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter allow the user or in this case organisation to send friend requests to other people within the network. By the use of viral growth a simple few friends can turn into a large community supporting your page and the content involved. For IGC to accomplish this successfully it would need to aim for it target audience and kick start the chain reaction of the community.

Strategy 4 – Engage Community.

Engaging the community is one of the most challanging tasks with social networking. It is reletivly easy to build a community but to keep the users engaged is a more challenging task.This can be accomplished through the use of engaging media on the organisations page such as surveys and questions regarding to the IGC. For example a question could be brought up about topics for the next meeting.

As can be seen by the above I strongly agree that the push of social media and web 2,o tools will increase company;s involvement with the public and help them grow as a community.

References:

[1] http://mariosundar.com/category/social-networking-stats/

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Wiki Strategy – IGC

14 10 2011

The consumer technologies discussed throughout my blog so far such as social media and bloging form the foundation of how the world and businesses rely on web 2.0 technologies. It is transforming how we communicate and work.

Wiki’s are web 2.0 technologies and are used quite similarly to blogs. Before I discuss the in depth use of wiki’s I will first clarify the basics of a wiki difference between the two. For starters what exactly is a wiki? A wiki is a piece of server software that allows its users to create and edit data via a web browser. It is a real time tool therefore can be used as a means of collaboration. It is unique with group communication mechanisms in that is allows the contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself.

Although wiki’s and blogs are both quite easy to implement and manage there are some major differences. These include:

  • Blogs are user controlled, internet readers have access to this media but are unable to edit or in some cases even comment.
  • Wiki is open and does not suppress any users input.
  • Wiki can be commented and content can be edited.
  • Wiki does not have to be reverse chronological order, whereas a blog does.

Wiki’s have grown largely over the past few years, so much in fact that finding information about them is hard as every search with the term wiki brings up thousands of online wiki’s available to us online users.

“…internal, about 30 per cent of its 3000-odd employees have started creating their own wikis and blog pages on the ABS’s intranet….” [1]

This technology has the potential to transform how IGC (International Geological Congress) members come together within the organisation and address their company wide objectives.

The Strategy – What it will do for IGC

  • Can be used as a source of communication
  • Allows users from all around the world to collaborate and edit one another’s work and ideas
  • Keep members up to date with the current challenging topic
  • Easy to use therefore keeping users engaged with work
  • Keep the wiki interesting to keep outsiders interested in the conference

Challenges that may arise?

  • Information being lost due to such relaxation of editing rules.
  • Repeated information
  • Too much posted on one topic

What can be done?

  • To battle these issues a simple “terms of use” can be implemented laying down a quick set of rules for all members to follow.
  • A moderator to manage all information and filter through junk or repeated topics.
  • Backups to limit loss of data.

I believe that the use of a Wiki within almost any organisation will be beneficial and I have breifly outlined how I believe it could work with IGC. Even though there were some issues there was simple and manageable fixes for all of these.

References:

[1] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/australian-bureau-of-statistics-embraces-world-of-blogs-and-wikis/story-e6frgakx-1225906055742





Blogging/Microblogging – IGC

3 10 2011

According to HubSpot  a massive 75% of the responded blogers, class a blog as being useful followed with 31% who voted it as being critical for their business. [1] External Blogs can assist most companies with increasing consumer knowledge about the product as well as sales, ratings, and offers. Internal blogs are only visible from inside the company and assist in employee engagement as well as knowledge of tasks going on around them in the workforce.

“…A blog is used among many people of the world as a social tool and way of expressing yourself …”

Everyone knows what a blog is but some people are confused as to what this new term microblogging means. It is simple, microblogging is a web 2.0 technology just like general blogging but is typically smaller. It can “allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links” [2]

As briefly described early corporate blogging can be depicted in two ways. Internal and external:

Internal –

  • Executive communication – informal
  • Project management – improve communications on projects rss updates, discussion on timely issues
  • Competitive intelligence – well suited when combined with wikis to provide updates on gleaned information, rate updates
  • Expertise sharing – share latest news, insights and developments in specific feilds, visibility for subject matter experts, location of expertise
  • Internal communication – can be used as a portal for updates news, etc.

Internal corporate blogs should incorporate all employees so everyone is updated on other employees stages of work. It is hard to show examples of these due to  internal blogs usually only being accessible within the company.

Although one example that is available to the public is IBM’s corporate blogs: [3]

–News or events that affect the business: “When IBM sold the personal computing division rumours were flying around before it actually happened and people were blogging about that, giving their opinions about what was going to happen and how it would affect IBM.”
–Metablogging: “It’s a new technology of special interest to people who blog.”
–Administrative things: “The little changes going on in the company — the water-cooler talk.”
–Product announcements: “Not necessarily of general interest but of interest to the specific community working with the product.”
–Hints and tips: “…for example about what bloggers have found interesting on the intranet.”

External –

The advantages of external blogging include:

  • The company can view what is being said about them and give their pointr of view.
  • Viral marketing – Self propagation of your marketing message, leading to exponential growth.
  • Information – Consumers look to the internet for advice and talk about what they like and dislike. This gives the company a chance to give their side or embrace the community support.
  • Allows customers to invite more customers in

Two great examples of these include Telstra and Realestate.com. Telstra use their blog to communicate with customers and shareholders giving them updates with new products and deals hitting the market whereas realestate.com use the blog as a means of advertising the latest deals.

IGC

Who are they?

The Australian Geoscience Council Incorporated (AGC) is the organising body responsible for the 34th International Geological Congress. The AGC is the Council of Presidents of the major Australian geoscientific societies and is the peak representative body for the 7000 geoscientists in Australia.

Aims and objectives of the company?

– Wider international research collaboration

– More interaction

– Increased exploration

The challenges preventing this from happening?

– World wide company therefore competing time zones and limited communication

– How to make more people aware of the event and bring in a larger crowd.

The use of simple blogging and micro blogging technologies can be useful to address these problems shown above. It will help the communication between people and provide information for upcoming events. Also meeting summaries can keep the public and members up to date with what is happening within the organisation.

Extra References:

[1] http://www.penn-olson.com/2010/07/30/corporate-blogs-critical-to-businesses/

[2] Kaplan Andreas M., Haenlein Michael (2011) The early bird catches the news: Nine things you should know about micro-blogging, Business Horizons, 54(2).

[3] http://www.corporateblogging.info/2005/06/3600-blogs-glance-into-ibms-internal.asp

Useful Blog Statistics

Blogging in Enterprise – Video





ROI – Enterprise 2.0

10 09 2011

Return on Investment (ROI) is “A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.” ROI in enterprise 2.0 can be used to calculate the return on investment of incorporating social media and web 2.0 technologies.

Read more:

Return of investment can sometimes be a difficult concept because there are always risks with employers not trusting the use of enterprise 2.0 in there corporation such as giving all users access to social media tools like facebook. It is also quite difficult to measure return on investment having to calculate both sides of ROI being the cost and the return.

ROI is calculated by subtracting the costs from the gains of the investment and dividing it by the cost to achieve a percentage. The trouble lies in working out what the costs and returns are including putting these into quantifiable data.

Costs can include:

  • Software – Platforms that allow the business to incorporate enterprise 2.0. This may include sharepoint software and other licenced products.
  • Hardware – Servers to support the software if needed.
  • Lag in Activity – Once the technology has been installed there will be a down time before it achieves its full functionality.
  • Training – Training of employees to use the web 2.0 technologies.

Before a company implements enterprise, to incorporate ROI they should establish their expected benefits from the implementation and the cost they are willing to pay.

Few Common Principles

  • if you are highly networked you are going to make more money and be more successful, it improves your chances of being known to the web
  • if customers are important and there are more that 800 million active users on facebook isn’t it clear that social networking can help build client base.
  • employers are after a system that will grow and exponentially make the business more profitable
  • Instead of just introducing a technology such as wiki start it up and use it and test it, apply it to a specific area and see if it increases productivity.

Calculating ROI

The main way to calculate the ROI in enterprise 2.0 is by working out the time saved by  implementing the product and calculating this into how much money is saved. This data is usually shown through a graph depicting the money saved over time.

“It is estimated that the cost of employee turnover is 100% to 150% of the employee’s base salary.  Suppose the average salary in your organization is $45,000 annually and you have 5,000 employees.  If introducing collaboration software reduces your turnover by even 1%, then that equates to a saving of at least $1M annually (calculation accounts for an implementation/management cost of about $100,000).” [1]

Not only can the rate of return be calculated via the income it brings to the company by saving time but also for engaging employees. In one of my previous blogs I discussed the importance of engaging employees and showed how widely this is effected by the introduction of enterprise 2.0. An example can include a user that is on an individual computer with no outside access to other employees other than email. Say we were to give this user access to enterprise 2.0 tools such as wiki, social networking and chat the user will be more engaged with the computer and work related interaction with other employees. This change in engaging the employees can make vast difference to the return on investment. These values can be shown through the graph on the left. Most corporate companies use annual surveys to gauge the level of engagement. To calculate the difference it is a simple as comparing the engagement from before and after the tool was implemented. At Best Buy, a 0.1% increase in employee engagement at the store level is worth a $100,000 increase in annual operating income per store. [2]

A further way to measure the ROI is from the point of view of sales. The implementation of web 2.0 technologies may increase the rate of sales which can be used to calculate the change in profit.

Furthermore below is a video depicting ROI with enterprise 2.0

Extra References:

[1] http://blog.socialcast.com/how-to-calculate-the-roi-of-enterprise-2-0/

[2] Harvard Business Review October 2010, Competing on Talent Analytics, By Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne Harris, and Jeremy Shapiro





Social Media – Legal Risks Involved

2 09 2011

In my previous blog post I discussed the good and evil incorporating Enterprise 2.0 within a company. I discussed benefits such as knowledge , reputation, staff engagement, productivity, efficiency and risks including security, loss of control, resources, productivity, reliability and reputation. Although we discussed these in quite some detail we did not talk about the legal risks involved with enterprise 2.0 in particular with social media. These risks can be apparent to both employees but also members of the public.

I would like to acknowledge before I start that I have no qualifications in law and this information is just commentary on my personal understanding of the legal risks.

Some legal risks of enterprise 2.0 include copyright, defamation, negligent statements, and reputation; which are all quite self explanatory. The main objective company’s face to outlaw these risks is the creating of a social media policy.

A social media policy (SMP) a document for putting policies (a set of rules) on the use of social media. Social media can be defined as

” a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn’t allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content.”

Some further information regarding social media policy can be found in the video provided.

NOVELL

” Novell helped invent the corporate network in the early 1980s and continues to drive technology for business today. Network software began with the sharing of files and printers within local area networks (LANs) and evolved into the management of wide area networks that enabled enterprise-class computing and, ultimately, the Internet. Today, Novell continues this technology leadership with its unique combination of the best-engineered Linux and IT management software to help lower cost, complexity and risk on virtually every platform. We give our customers the infinite IT flexibility and agility they need to meet and exceed their organisational objectives. ”

In this case study we are going to analyse and altercate the potential legal risks evident in the company’s use of enterprise 2.0

The two main social media tools this company uses in Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. They have made themselves very know to the society through these and it has been seen as quite a success. Although the legal risks involved with this could include plagiarism through copyright, privacy breaches and defamation.

Copyright –

Copyright can an issue involving both the employees and the public. Due to the use of so many social media sites employees may upload audio/video or written content that is sensitive to the public thus breaching copyright policy’s. As well as this the public may use the information given from the media sites in an ill matter infringing on copyright yet again.

Privacy breaches and defamation –

Due to the use off many social media site as shown above there is ways that employees or public members can post private data thus defaming the company. Due to the company being such a large organisation thus giving it many competitors this could be quite threatening to the company’s reputation. Not only this but false reviews through the use of commenting on external social media sites as well as their own may damage the company’s reputation.

 

Although it is very difficult to suppress all the possible legal risks out there the company’s social media policy should protect it from many penetration attempts into its legal security.

 

Further Readings:

Overview of Legal Risks of Social Networking for Business

Why does an organisation need a social media policy.





The Good and Evil of Enterprise 2.0

1 09 2011

We will further investigate the benefits and risks of the increasing use of enterprise 2.0 and the influence this is having. The rapid growth of enterprise 2.0 within the workplace has been obvious through the use of social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. The use of these social network sites are a great form of advertising brands and increasing the communication with customers and also within the company.

Benefits

Key potential benefits of implementing enterprise 2.0 include knowledge , reputation, staff engagement, productivity and efficiency. There are many benefits available for companies to merge with Enterprise 2.0 and once they have embraced the technology they will not want to go back.

Productivity and efficiency –

  • Allows for a faster better outcome, streamlining communication through online communication.
  • Social networking can benefit because as humans we work well in a team and having this link of formal and informal communication will help the employees work around each other, enhancing trust building and teamwork strategies.

Staff Engagement –

  • 20% actively disengaged – people who are not engaged in their work but also disrupting others.
  • 62% not engaged – people who are working efficiently but have no passion for the job and are not putting their full potential into their outcome
  • 18% engaged – People who love their job and are fully engaged in what they are doing.

When you hit hurdles within the workforce you need people who are engaged to tackle these hurdles and continue on with their work. Enterprise 2.0 helps the outcome of this by allow easy interaction with what is needed through tools such as Intranet and social media within the office.

Knowledge & Reputation – 2.0 technologies uncover people’s knowledge by allowing  input into a wider range of work options through use of social networking and open office technologies, such as a group wiki. It allows people to express their opinions and for organisations to source information from the public.

This was done by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Orkney where due to an enormouse amount of emails being bounced back and forward updating files the company decided to use a hybrid blog and wiki platform to offload from the email traffic and alow easier communication throughout the company.

Also increased visibility can be used through use of social media techniques to advertise your market. Everyone uses there technologies including all levels of government to express their opinions.

Risks

Key risks and concerns of e2 implementation include security, loss of control, resources, productivity, reliability and reputation.

Security – Information loss can  be leaked through social media whether the company supports enterprise 2.0 technologies or not. The weakest link is the employees as they have many devices to access enterprise 2.0 technologies available to them.

Take for example if you have a falling out with someone at work and post it on Facebook dishonouring the person. This could be commented on by an employee at the same company, and their friends of friends may see this linking it to the affected employee creating a breach of workplace policy.

Network security can also be an issue through the use of open source programs, websites with poor reputation and email. These can all infect employees computers with spy ware and viruses which can be spread throughout the office.

Loss of control – Say a company creates a wiki open to the whole organisation for widest input, users with little knowledge about the topic can input false information which can be spread around the office and lead to further complications. The more engaged staff the larger the input but the larger the security risks. This can also cause conflict within the office when employees have opposing views.

Reputation & Reliability You can damage reputation of employees through social media sites for example an emplyee uploading inappropriate photos to a public social media site of the company’s Christmas party. Customers can openly complain about employees or serves trhough the use of comments. Whether the comment is true or false the best way for the company to rebound from this is to respond publicly.

Productivity & Resources – Although productivity may be a benefit within enterprise 2.0 it also has its complications. If social media is allowed within the organisation it may distract people from their work and not help them grow in the workforce. The main perpetrator to this is an un-engaged employee. The issue with resources and enterprise 2.0 arises when employees may stumble upon wrong information online or possibly plagiarise information from an external source. This can be done easily through use of social networking.

 

You cant avoid these risks by removing enterprise 2.0 from the workforce as employees will do it themselves through use of phones and personal computers. The company is better off supporting it within the workplace and monitoring it effectively to maximise growth within the organisation. Also, through the use of a ‘social media policy’ the company can limit the use of many ill treated web 2.0 technologies.

Examples of successful implementation

Dell – Dell using twitter and social networking to sell and advertise products.

IBM – IBM Uses Social Media to Spur Employee Innovation

Belkin – one of its employees attempted to use Amazon’s crowdsourcing service, Mechanical Turk, to generate positive online reviews for its routers.





Unleash Web 2.0

31 08 2011

Web 2.0 is the leading technology driving enterprises to rise past what they have ever been, growing their online presence to extraordinary levels. The term web 2.0 was first brought up in January 1999 when Darcy DiNucci used it in correspondence with Web design, aesthetics, and the interconnection of everyday objects with the Internet. The term was later brought by John Robb who wrote

“What is Web 2.0? It is a system that breaks with the old model of centralized Web sites and moves the power of the Web/Internet to the desktop.”

This is has brought us to today’s Web which can be defined as “the internet viewed as a medium in which interactive experience, in the form of blogs, wikis, forums, etc, plays a more important role than simply accessing information.”

There are plenty off web 2.0 tools availible to us in this modern society to help with personal production. These include: wikis, social networks, Twitter, blogs, rss, social media, taging, podcasting and any further interaction and communication with the Web.

Social networking is probably one of the largest growing within recent years and support a majority of the worlds population. Almost every person with access to the internet involves themselves in some sort of social networking.

These tools among many allow users to interact with one another no matter where they are throughout the world. All that is needed is access to the internet and technology that supports web 2.0. Information is available to users at a click of a button and users can give their own opinion through use of commenting and blog sites. Media such as news and weather is also available at the click of a mouse revolutionising the world and how it works.

I went further into analysing  a web 2.0 tool called google latitude which allows users to keep up to date with where there registered friends are. This tool allows the user to update there GPS location whether it be on there computer or a relevant SmartPhone. They can then add friends and allow them to view their current location. Found this tool to be quite amazing in how much the internet takes over a majority of our lives. We cant even leave our house without the internet following our every move.