Aligning Social Media Strategy with Business Goals

Social Media Strategy is like any other corporate-wide initiative requires among other things Management support, Policy & Guidelines, Championship  and People acceptance that lead to its success. In A Softscape White Paper in 2005, the Author emphasize that after all, it is ultimately the people that define the success of an initiative; without their cooperation and incentive to participate, even the best defined plans never make it off the drawing board.

But to make sure that Social Media Strategy is actually and effectively aligned with the organization strategy and business goals ,we need to step back a little and look at the design phase of the strategy and wither  the following factors have been considered when the strategy were drafted:

Strategists have a clear view of the Why, Where, What Questions: 

 Why social media? Specifically to your business.  The answer will dictate everything you do in this drafting phase. Assessment is toevaluatewhere you are,where you want to go and what the wins will be along the way (Kuikka & Äkkinen, 2011). As we previously mention,  your audience ‘Employees’ are the key to success so : What they need, what can they do and challenges. And these questions can be answered by surveying you employee’s opinion and perception on these issues. At the end, it is important to sell this strategy to them. 


Resources Allocation  : any strategy need resources to be implemented and Social Media Strategy is no different  (Ex. Professionals, Technical Support) (Macnamara., 2011)

Governance framework:  Who is in charge (department) and what its main responsibilities and what authority do they have….(Patel & Jasani, 2010).


Those three factors in my opinion are the most critical factors to consider before you actually make your Social Media Strategy operational. Once you align and address these factors with business executives you will have A Governance Body, Resources and Clear Goal aligned with the overall corporate-wide strategy.

(Please Note. These are not inclusive list; I only list the factors that could be critical at this stage)

References

Kuikka, M., & Äkkinen, M. (2011). DETERMINING THE CHALLENGES OF ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA ADOPTION AND USE  (2011). ECIS 2011 Proceedings. Paper 248. http://aisel.aisnet.org/ecis2011/248.

Macnamara., J. (2011). Social Media Strategy and Governance: Gaps, Risks and Opportunities , University of Technology Sydney: Sydney, Australia, 2011, Available online:http://79.170.44.76/ amecks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/social-media-strategy-and-governance-report-UTS.pdf (accessed on 11 June 2012). . [Report].

Patel, N., & Jasani, H. (2010). SOCIAL MEDIA SECURITY POLICIES: GUIDELINES FOR ORGANIZATIONS. Issues in Information Systems, XI, 1, 628-634.

 

Advertisements

Social Media Training Strategy: Corporate New Hires

A major part of our unit project for ‘INN346 Enterprise 2.0’ is to draft a Social media strategy to our client (an HR department) that address  many aspects such as current challenges , main objectives , implementation plan , needed resources, Return on Investment (ROI) , benefits and training. As my classmates cover other parts in this strategy like HR and Enterprise Prospective, recruitment  . In this post, I will be focusing more on the training phase as an integral part of our strategy.

In corporations, training is an essential part of new hires’ first year. And that because training can :

And in our context, the recommended Social Media Training strategy should incorporate the following guidelines:

  • Take advantage of their Social Media knowledge: taking into account that these employees are of younger generation and that will help you skip the How to part of the training.
  • Choose the right person.  In other words, the trainer or mentor needs to have a certain level of expertise not only how to use the organization’s Internal or External Social Networks or Applications but also when you should use it and why it is useful for the new hire daily task. The problem in some organizations nowadays is  the job of training is often assigned to those within the closest proximity to the new hire and to those with the most available time.
  • Create a Wiki like document for all instructions and reference information: It will be a valuable resource for the new employee and will hasten his/her success.
  • Provide the tools to succeed. (Access to Computers, Printer, Social Networks , act)
  •  Why we use Social Media Policy, I believe is highly important that Social media policy should be introduced at the early days of the training. but what is more importantly is why we use by showing that these policies are not only to protect the employer but the employees too. As well, how these policies are different from the public social networks policies like Facebook.
  •  Align whatever you tell them with the bigger picture. I think this important too. At this stage, new hires especially new graduates may not comprehend the purpose of all the instruction and guidelines that been given by their trainer or mentor. Therefore, linking all of that with corporate Vision and Mission will help them see the bigger picture much clearer.

 

So, do you think we need to add \address other points to our training strategy?

How can an HR department benefits from wiki?

 Wikis are websites whose content can be created, edited, discussed, and changed by users working in collaboration. The word Wiki comes from the Hawaiian; meaning “quick,” it high­lights the easy, fast editing capability of Wikis. Best example of wiki is by no doubt Wikipedia. As long as you have Wikipedia’s five pillars in mind and comply with its copyright policy, there is no limit to your contributions to the world.

In an organizational context, the concept itself has been used decades ago. Remember patient’s board behind the clinic’ receptionists!! I wonder why grey’s anatomy still using the patient’s board that is constantly changing..

Anyway , the most common uses of wiki include:

>>>  Dashboard There are better calendering options out there, especially for group projects, but a wiki can be a great FOCUS TOOL for upcoming events. If you’ve got the kind of business that works on deadlines, and on projects, it’s a great way to put a kind of “dashboard” that shows deadlines, things to focus on, and maybe key contacts/resources for that time frame.
>>> Technical documentation:
>>> Knowledge bases
>>> Project Management tool
>>> Education & Learning
>>> Assessment tool : In some industries, when a firm manufactures or builds a product. It releases something like a beta version for internal use to test. So I guess, Wiki could be used to give evaluation or a try & error within a pre specified group of employees and build\correct as they contribute their experiences\usage of the product.

                                                      Wiki as part of HR’ Social Media Srtategy

You may wonder why HR.? It is basically because our INN346 team is working on applying Enterprise 2.0 to an HR department and we are asking questions related to the best strategies to adopt Social tools in HR department and What and How can they benefits from these tools.

We know that HR has been using social tools for recruitments for quit sometime. In fact,  Bart Byl in social media strategy for Human Resources (HR) post stated that in 2010, only 6% of companies were using social media for recruiting? Today, that’s exploded to 89%.but what else that is specific to HR ?

When I first think about what possibly wiki could do to help HR department, I try to apply Wikipedia use application to HR dept. But in fact it can’t be!!

The main pillars that we talked about earlier don’t entirely apply to Organization use of wiki because:

>>> The Organization’s use of wiki is strictly internal (only a pre specific group of authentic employees).
>>> It has an owner (the HR department) who initiates wiki and give permissions to specific group to edit within certain privileges.
>>> The policy will be much stricter than of Wikipedia
>>>It is compulsory to use

And if you think about it ,  this also apply to any organization’s social tools used internally compared to thos public social application.  

 So please, what you think  : what possible use of wiki that specific to HR department?…See below a typical structure of HR department and its main sub-departments

If we use Google Docs instead (which almost the same concept as Wiki ) , Could HR use it for:

As Repository System : the document could include lots of information of interest to other employees in regards to the HR main functions like training procedure, leave forms…., act. And it grows gradually as HR dept. adds more content.

A Support system: the document could be Q&A where previous questions and answers can be posted as well as any new Q&A that could be added.   ….so it is something a HR knowledge sharing platform

I will keep updating this post with your valuable comments to make it more useful.

‘On-boards’ for New Hire Program: Case Study

HR Strategies is the Key to Corporate Success especially when implants contemporary tools such as Social Media Networks (SMN). But what is strategy? .  Strategy is a long-term plan. In a highly cited book by Johnson and Scholes define strategy as follows:

   “Strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long-term:
     which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of
     resources within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets
    and to fulfil stakeholder expectations” (Johnson, Scholes, & Whittington, 2008).

In other words, strategy is about:

  • Where is the business trying to get to in the long-term (direction)?
  • Which markets should a business compete in and what kinds of activitie
        are involved in such markets? (markets; scope)
  • How can the business perform better than the competition in those markets? (advantage)?
  • What resources (skills, assets, finance, relationships, technical competence, facilities) are
       required in order to be able to compete? (resources)?
  • What external, environmental factors affect the businesses’ ability to compete? (environment)?

Thus, the same definition could be applied to other strategies such as Corporate HR strategy. Nowadays, the fast majority of organizations use SMN mainly for HR departments and more specifically for recruitment (MOQBEL, 2012). Logically, SMN should be a main pillar of any corporate HR strategy.

 In this post we will narrow the scope to blogging-micro blogging context and we will try to address some of the above strategy’s questions for HR dept. (the same context of our INN-Group’s  case study) by discussing  a successful case study chosen from the literature (Koch, Gonzalez, & Leidner, 2012).

                                                                      SWBank On-Board strategy

SWBank is one of the largest providers of insurance, banking, investments, and financial planning to U.S. citizens. In spite of the hardships in the U.S. economy, in 2008 SWBank entered a growth and expansion phase. As of 2011, SWBank had more than 22,000 employees, revenue in excess of U.S.$18 billion and assets totalling more than $80 billion(Koch et al., 2012).

SWBank hires 250 IT new & young employees, who were accustomed to using Social Media Networks (SMN) in their daily lives. Unsurprisingly, the IT department had historically been plagued with a 60–70% turnover among the new hires during their second year of employment. Therefore, in 2008, SWBank leverages the power of social networking, creating its own SNS called On-Board which has many feature among them blogging and micro-blogging applications. Parts of their On-Board’s strategy are:

  • Leverage the fact that new hires were accustomed to using SMN in their daily lives which will make using On-Board easier.
  • Provide the management Support. Under the supervision of executives, SWBank’s 250 IT new hires develop and manage the On-Board’s content. Referred to as the On-Board group.
  • Open direct channel throw On-Board‘s blogging & micro-blogging applications between top-management & new hires. For instance, the ‘Pulse’ – On-Board’s work/social features – is social networking and micro-blogging application. The posts are purely social and support discussing weekend adventures and lunch plans with everybody including top-management.
  • Allocate resources ,  SWBank’s executives both sponsor and provide budgets for events that  the On-Board group hosts , which must fall into one of four pillars: networking, career development, workforce initiatives or continuing education. Table 4 describes and explains the four pillars.

  Finally, Since the inception of On-Board, two of SWBank’s IT executives and two middle managers concur that SWBank has experienced decreased turnover, higher morale and increased employee engagement. IT management believes that these organizational improvements are largely attributable to the On-Board initiative. For instance, the vice president of applications and infrastructure said, ‘Since the implementation of On-Board, there has been a greater retention rate visible within SWBank’(Koch et al., 2012). When asked why management supports On-Board, the vice president of applications and infrastructure stated, ‘retention and morale’. Furthermore, the director in charge of On-Board explained, ‘no one [new hires] has voluntarily left in the last 2 years’.

References

Johnson, G., Scholes, K., & Whittington, R. (2008). Exploring corporate strategy: text & cases: Prentice Hall.
Koch, H., Gonzalez, E., & Leidner, D. (2012). Bridging the work/social divide: the emotional response to organizational social networking sites. European Journal of Information Systems.
MOQBEL, M. (2012). THE EFFECT OF THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES IN THE WORKPLACE ON JOB PERFORMANCE. Texas A&M International University.

Adoption of social tools by enterprises : Strategy & Leadership

Andrew McAfee (Associate Professor in Technology and Operations Management at Harvard Business  School ) who coined the phrase Enterprise 2.0  was asked in an interview in 2009 about his prediction in  a spring 2006 article that there will be a  shaped curve of adoption [of Enterprise 2.0 technologies within the Enterprise] but it didn’t happen. He replied using the quote from the Economist magazine: We tend to overestimate the impact of new technologies in the short run and underestimate the impact in the long run. Then, he repeatedly emphasized on a fact that we have all ready talked about in a previous post  ‘’How can you get senior executives mandate Enterprise 2.0?which is basically the critical rule of top-management support to web 2.0 tools or as he put itcoaching from the top’.

In the following paragraphs we will discuss in more details a case study of a successful adoption of Enterprise 2.0. However, I must point out that during my literature review on this topic the key success factors of all thriving stories out there were   two things 1) push from the top and , 2) in-house corporate-wide strategy.

Essentially, Web 2.0 is the idea and technology that supports social media as a tool; while Enterprise 2.0 is the concept of how organizations are using those tools in their business activities.(Husin & Hanisch, 2011). There are 3 trends that have led to the growth of social media usage (McAfee, 2009).

1. Free and easy platforms for communication and interaction
Users were not required to have a technical understanding of how to develop a blog in order to post their ideas or thoughts online.
2. Lack of imposed structure
Part of the fundamental shift was avoiding an ‘imposed structure’ that is, constricting the users to a set of predefined tools or workflows, which may or may not be useful for them. Ex. Wikipedia
3. Mechanisms that allow structures to emerge
Google became the first search engine to view the Web as a community rather than individual Web pages. The emergence factor for the Web comes from the fact that the online information is the creation of users worldwide interacting with each other while creating new content (Husin & Hanisch, 2011)

 The following case study provides an example of one method that have been used successfully when implementing social media tools among employees, such as: 1) word of mouth, 2) top management introduction, 3) encouragement of usage; and 4) bottom up approach.

                                                         Deloitte Australia  

 One of Australia’s leading professional services firms in audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory, Deloitte started experimenting with social media towards the end of 2008 using Yammer, an internal based Twitter tool for microblogging as the first prototype. Yammer started from lower management usage, where it was employed as a social chat environment. The tool began to attract more users within the organization when Deloitte’s Digital CEO, Peter Williams encouraged the employees to provide ideas on a new advertising campaign, the Green Dot campaign. More than 50% of Deloitte Australia’s 4,600 employees signed up; and as a result, the headquarters of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) decided to implement the use of Yammer across its offices globally, with more than 14,000 employees using the tool. The organization is currently implementing more social media tools, such as social networking with LinkedIn and content sharing on Youtube, as part of their business activities.(Husin & Hanisch, 2011)

Finally , most academic articles, industrial’s report, and social media professional blog ‘posts that I come  across agreed on  the fact that organizations need to better have answers to the following questions  in order to have a successful adoption of wherever Social network or application(Kasper, Koleva, & Kett, 2012).

What do we need to accomplish? — (strategy)
What to do ? — (strategy)
How to do this? — (roles, processes and policies)
and which tools offer support to do so (application).

References
Husin, M., & Hanisch, J. (2011). SOCIAL MEDIA AND ORGANISATION POLICY (SOMEOP): FINDING THE PERFECT BALANCE.
Kasper, H., Koleva, I., & Kett, H. (2012). Social Media Matrix. Common Value Management, 9.
McAfee, A. (2009). Enterprise 2.0: New collaborative tools for your organization’s toughest challenges: Harvard Business School Press.

One social media policy fit all

From last week post ‘How can you get senior executives mandate Enterprise 2.0?’ , we concluded that business executives need IT people to well present benefits as well as  risks of  Social Media Networks (SMNs) before they approve and support its use. We also discussed briefly how implementing policies for SMNs can be an important tool to control and alleviate some of these risks. Today, we will elaborate more on this topic.

Dion Hinchcliffe  is an Enterprise Social Media expert. He writes periodically on SMNs . A few months ago, Dion states in his weekly post that  ‘One of the biggest issues I’m seeing is that social media, when it becomes a company-wide topic, rather quickly draws in the involvement of HR, legal, compliance, corporate communications, IT, and at least a couple of representatives from the lines of business. This sudden “coming together” obscures the exact location of ownership of social within the enterprise. This, combined with the difficulties of coordination of cross-functional sign-off on the requisite policy, governance, technology, and process issues, can often bog down efforts before they ever really begin,

This statement lists many issues facing the implementation of corporate-wide SMNs. However, we will focus on one issue which is ‘drafting policy’. If you need more insight in policy usage; you may take a look at previous posts where we explained what policies means and an example of Social Media policy statements.

Drafting policies for internal and\or external use of SMNs is a challenging task. However, don’t reinvent the wheel, you can brows other SMNs policies that been posted on other companies’ websites like IBM or Google . Moreover, Rooksby  (2009) list some recommendations in this issue:

  •  Learn how employees communicate and share, ask why and how people communicate and share.
  •  Understand the organization’s structure and learn where there are barriers to communication.
  •  Understand the legal and regulatory issues around information sharing.
  •  How do laws such as the data protection act, industrial regulation and organizational policy
           shape the possibilities for information sharing and communication.

However, these are still general recommendations and  lack the know-how framework .If we exclude static legal and liability statements (usually the same for most corporate –wide policy documents), the rest is to a great extend a  blurrily territory of SMNs use and very hard to regulate (ex. personal vs. business use of SMNs, the time we spend on using SMNs, network security issues, monitoring activities..act) .Accountemps, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance , conducted an large-scale survey in late 2010 and  reported that 59 percent of 1400 interviewed chief financial officers (CFOs) stated that their greatest concern of social networking site use in the workplace employees is the wasting time on SMNs (MOQBEL, 2012).In fact, the nature of this technology that we trying to regulate are constantly changing (dynamic) since there are so many SMNs products coming everyday to market with different functionality and use.

As SMN’s policy maker deals with many social, legal, technological and business variables, they clearly can’t make a general corporate-wide Social Media policy for all SMNs or even for each Industry. I fact , if a group of businesses belong to the same industry such as retails  ,  the context is different for each business in term of business environment, business processes, legality, products…act. For example, malls, convenience store, E-retailers, vending machines…act.

The Policy Development Life Cycle (PDLC) for SMNs is a hot topic in Information Systems and Policy studies since there are many issues other than what we did cover in this post. However, the question is what businesses should do? Should they wait until these issues and risks are resolved by well-established regulations and policies ? , I think looking at the half full glass with a focuse on benefits will be the best choice;  businesses can’t afford not to be part of this phenomenal because it will lose competitive edge eventually.

  We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media; the Question is how well we Do it – Erik Qualman (Qualman, 2010)

but how you feel about that !

Abdul

References:

MOQBEL, M. (2012). THE EFFECT OF THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES IN THE WORKPLACE ON JOB PERFORMANCE. Texas A&M International University.
Rooksby, J., Kahn, A. W., Keen, J., & Sommerville, I. (2009). Social networking and the workplace. Strategic Direction, 25(8), 20-23.
Qualman, E. (2010). Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business: Wiley.

How can you get senior executives mandate Enterprise 2.0?

Research studies have repeatedly emphasized that good IT governance is a result of effective leadership at the highest levels (Lallana, 2010) . Social Media implementation in enterprises is like any technology initiatives require a leadership support to be successful. Leaders commitment can bring the initiative together, establish it as a priority, and drive it to successful completion (Seven, 2001) .However adopting technological innovation generate challenges to organizations because it doesn’t only addresses changes in technology but also require the organization to change the way its runs its business in terms of processes, workflows, policies, procedures and structure (Serour & Henderson-Sellers, 2002)

To accomplish that, CIOs will be the best candidates. It is not an easy task for CIOs to have board members, CEO, senior executives on board to support the use of Enterprise 2.0 for internal and external communications. Campaigning for such task is a long, tedious work for so many reasons like dealing with business managers who are often less IT savvy. As well , CIOs will always need to be well equipped and convincing to provide answers to ‘What is in it for me!’  & ‘Is it a Risk free thing’ type of questions.

However, It is not difficult to answer the benefits and cost effective questions since most social media networks are relatively free and the uses of social media seem endless. For example , It brings firms closer to their customers, communication ,knowledge sharing , project management…act. On the other hand, the risk question is the real concern.  Security, loss of control, impact on reputation, information
reliability, and productivity impact are among the high profile issues in using Enterprise social networks.
There is no simple solution to manage these risks .Literature shows that many firms have its way of handling some of these issues. For example, Phoebe Venkat a Global Communications Senior Manager at Tyco Fire Protection states that to help firms with control issue, it is better to have Know when to guide, when to police’

‘ As an admin of firm Social Network I come across some impolite improper posts. Just as I was about to fire off a manifesto, I paused and told myself, “let the community respond…don’t speak for everyone.” Within a few minutes, the responses started flying in. The best thing? The responses were mature, helpful and positive. I was so proud of our network. ‘

However, the most common mechanism to ease these risks is using policy. The need for effective policy for Enterprise 2.0 applications has never been more important in today’s changing workplace and technology (workplace policies and procedures). Organizations will need polices as an accountability system to protect themselves and its employees against any legal liabilities issues. As well, policies will help organization in:

  • Providing  guidelines on action to be taken to use social network apps
  • Clarify user’s rights and responsibilities.
  • foster stability and continuity
  • assessing performance and establishing accountability
  •  Saving time, when you face a new problem that could be handled through an existing policy.
  • Reducing conversation clashes.
  • Reducing network security issues by maintaining safe \ acceptable use \ best practices in using social network apps to prevent malicious code, viruses, Trojans from ever attacking its network.

Moreover, conducting training programs and creating educational videos would also contribute to alleviate  these risks.

Finally, from previous experience, business managers usually will hesitate when it comes to make decision about such emergent technology. Thus, proposing a risk analysis and risk management plan would be essential to have them on board.

For now , I will leave you with this video ’ Managing the risk of social media in hospitals’ and next week, will talk more on managing risks of  Enterprise Social networks.

See you then   Abdul  ,,

References : 

Lallana, E. (2010). ICT for Development policy, process and governance: Briefing Note 2. United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT).

Serour, M., & Henderson-Sellers, B. (2002). The role of organizational culture on the adoption and diffusion of software engineering process: an empirical study. Proceedings of the Adoption and Diffusion of IT in an Environment of Critical Changes, IFIP TG8, 6, 76-88.

Seven, E. (2001). Government Leadership Milestones. Janet Caldow, Director, Institute For Electronic Government, IBM Corporation, United Kingdom.

inn346qut

Everything Enterprise 2.0

areejfaisal

A fine WordPress.com site

Sukshan Sakdsrinarang

Lets make life better \(^.^)/

charlestontelles

INN346 Student sharing his ideas about web2.0 and enterprise2.0

Professional Doctorate Candidate, QUT , http://study-erp.org/

inn346qut

Everything Enterprise 2.0

areejfaisal

A fine WordPress.com site

Sukshan Sakdsrinarang

Lets make life better \(^.^)/

charlestontelles

INN346 Student sharing his ideas about web2.0 and enterprise2.0

Professional Doctorate Candidate, QUT , http://study-erp.org/