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4 Enterprise Social Media Trends You Should Know

Everyone knows that social media is changing the way people live and work. In a space that changes so quickly, what can we expect the future of enterprise social to look like?

Last weekend I attended a panel covering this very topic. Heidi Ambler, Director of Social Software at IBM and her co-worker, Luis Benitez, Social Software Product Manager, both outlined some trends where social is likely to go.

Social Technology Re-Shaping the Business Culture. Heidi Ambler summed this up nicely in her SXSW panel last weekend stating, “This [corporate culture] is something that you really need to have in mind when you’re looking at adopting social technologies, tools applications…because it really does come down to the adoption factor: what the culture is going to accept and not accept.” Unlike rolling out a new email system, deploying social technology inside a corporation is a disruptive force. As with any significant change, there is an inherent need to marry the technology with a company’s culture. Culture will eat your strategy for lunch. So it’s super important to make sure when adopting social technologies that you select one that will most likely be adopted by the corporate culture.

Social Technology is the New Corporate Intranet. A lot of companies are testing the social waters inside out. They are testing by deploying “intranet-based social systems.” According to a survey by IBM of 5,000 IT professions 43% of companies are deploying social technologies internally first. This is an excellent way for a company to get an introduction to what it means to be social. Then, after they’ve learn a bit about what it takes to be social can do they roll out externally facing social technologies.

Social Meet Mobile, Mobile Meet Social. Facebook reports that more than 50% of its activity now occurs via their mobile app. Let’s face it over the past four years; there’s been an explosion in mobile technologies. This means that companies have less control – a scary thought if you work in the IT department. With the multitude of devices that have flooded the market, security and support are becoming serious issues. Companies are combating this with Bring Your Own Device program (BYOD) – individuals who want to opt-out of the corporate standard issue devices, are then expected to support themselves. This is easily done today via all the social channels available to employees to ask questions and crowd source answers/support. Colgate implemented such a program and they save at least $1 million a year by not issuing devices to employees.

Social Technology Drives Business. Standout organizations are 57% more likely to allow their employees to use social and collaborative tools. 90% of organizations report higher revenues, better access to knowledge and low costs of doing business by using social technologies. After deploying externally-facing social tools, IBM has saved about $100 million in reduced support costs. But don’t just monitor these social networks, be smart, use analytics. This way you can get an idea of what it is that your communities find interesting. Most importantly, build a bridge – let your employees become your voice.

What do you think?

Do you have any additional trends you’re seeing that you want to share?

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