A topic of particular interest to me is that of social media. It is very pervasive outside of most people’s professional lives as a community building tool. Because it lends itself so much to collaboration many organizations are quick to implement it although in many instances gaining user adoption is not smooth sailing. There have been several articles that I have bookmarked that I want to read for research on this matter, but have yet to get around to. Recently CIO.com has come out with some really good articles by Kristin Burnham that I believe hit the major issues.

The first of which is 3 Common Enterprise Social Network Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them). Mistake #1 one is Don’t Assume Adoption Will Grow Organically. The article states that to avoid this the social network should be built into everyday workflow. “Managers need to ensure the tools are part of how they get their jobs done every day.” This reminds me of a conversation I had with Alan Lepofsky on Twitter (VP & Principal Analyst at Constellation Research,) he stated, “enterprise social media does not have a problem catching on if it is put in place with a defined usecase/purpose.” Mistake #2 is Don’t Set The Wrong Parameters for ROI. The metrics that should be measure are difficult to quantify and include things like, “include things like handling more work with fewer people, streamlining processes and spending less time on trivial things like searching an intranet for an answer to a question.” Mistake #3 is Don’t Underestimate the Power of Executive Support. Gartner Research Director Larry Cannell added, “Senior management is key to motivating people to participate in these communities.”

You can read the article above for more details. Also helpful is an older article (June 2011) entitled “How Random House Overcame 3 Common Enterprise Collaboration Obstacles” that hits on all of these mistakes and gives practical examples of how they were worked through.

Another insightful article is 5 Tips for Social Business Adoption: How SAS Succeeded. This article proves why not only information managers, but also records managers need to be concerned with social media because of the risk of enterprise information being communicated on unsecure sources. Perfect case in point is the following:

Becky Graebe, manager of internal communications, who worked closely with (Karen) Lee (senior director of communications) during their search and implementation of an enterprise collaboration tool, says that when they discovered that millennials were turning to social networks like Facebook to communicate, they realized the need for a platform was more urgent than they first thought.

“There were a lot of people on Facebook talking about what was happening at the company, but we had absolutely no control over what would happen or what was said there,” Graebe says.

The five tips they list in the article are:

1)Get Executives Excited
2)Lightly Train Employees
3)Promote, Promote, Promote
4)Make It Unintimidating
5)Trust Your Employees