A "First View" of Social Media in the Enterprise.

Bill Miller : Enterprise 2025
Bill Miller
Currently providing consulting services. Was most recently VP of Operations at FreedomVoice, cloud-based PBX. Over 25 years of voice, data and security networking experience. In recent years, he has been a staple presenting and on panels at IT Expo, Digium Asterisk World, & Astricon.

A "First View" of Social Media in the Enterprise.

As promised in my last blog post I am launching a 3-part series about social media in the enterprise. There is much information and activity to sort through out there with more column-inches daily. The three parts include today's post introducing the concepts and terminology. At the end of this series you should be able to:

- Build a social media strategy
- Build social business software strategy
- Create a project plan and budget to begin implementation.

Many conservative professionals ignore social media, discount social media and some think it's something others do. Well Mr./Ms. CIO, CFO, or CxO -  better look again and open your mind to new socially accepted techniques to communicate and engage with customers. If you fall into issues surrounding compliance and various laws such as healthcare and personal records perhaps you can pioneer a successful. business model.

In reality, social media is embryonic in nature, however, there are so many elements that will begin to take shape on their own within enterprises. Some tools are much further advanced than others. What is included under social media umbrella?

- consumer driven applications such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
- business software such as Jive, Socialcast, Sharepoint, Drupal, Atlassian

So let's look at the elements and develop the 3-part series. This first part addresses terminology; the 2nd part will discuss internally (employee) focused social media tools; and the third part will explore eternally focused portals and forums.  All tools are used for collaboration to increase productivity, brand, or customer engagement. This includes marketing elements such as demand and lead generation, web site, SEO, integrated marketing, data collection, tracking conversations, and on and on.


Teams collaborating
Project Management
Training/Online Learning
Wikis with all human resource policies and company policies
Documentation Sharing
Blocking of social software web sites (want to attract bright young talent?)


Portals (Channels, customers/users)
Marketing (lead gen, monitoring of brand conversations, blogs, research)
Customer Services
Tech Support

Many Executives are asking the question: Is this an ROI business model or a Cost Center model? I argue it's ROI driven - lead generation and customer satisfaction/customer service. Engage your customers, ask for feedback, educate your prospects, and  be available as they need you in real time.

Some experts and analysts believe social media is all about collaboration and thus consider it nothing more than a feature on top of UC (Unified Communications - see my previous blog post). By simplifying social media simply as UC, is only for applying the concepts to converged communications including voice, video, messaging, document sharing, and to me is short sighted. What makes this short sighted is community and customer engagement are missing form UC. I will explore these in details on parts 2 and 3 of the series.

As I develop the content for parts 2 and 3 please send me your input and suggestions either via comments here, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Be back soon!

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