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Understanding the Value of On-Line Social Networks in Corporate America
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Understanding the Value of On-Line Social Networks in Corporate America



This was a WorkLife Think Tank in Minneapolis on January 12, 2009

This was a WorkLife Think Tank in Minneapolis on January 12, 2009



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Understanding the Value of On-Line Social Networks in Corporate America Understanding the Value of On-Line Social Networks in Corporate America Presentation Transcript

  • Understanding the Value of On-Line Social Networks in Corporate America Michele Durkin, Thrivent Financial Sarah Rand, College of St. Catherine
  • What We Plan To Talk About Today
    • The Rise of On-Line Social Networks
    • Social Networking Technologies
    • Corporate On-Line Social Networking Applications
    • Discussion - How are your organizations using social networking technology?
  • Your Thoughts on On-Line Social Networks? Do you participate in any on-line social networks? Are on-line social networks of value to you?
  • The Rise of On-Line Social Networks: “Shift Happens” Created by Fisch, McLeod, & Bronman in 2006
  • What Is Social Software - Web 2.0?
    • Next generation of Internet technology
    • Fosters communication & collaboration
    • Strengthens existing & enables new connections
    • End users can also be contributors
    • Open flow of data - transparency
    • Often bottom-up
    • Tools are easy to use – anyone can use them
  • The Rise of On-Line Social Networks: Technology Is Just A Way of Life
    • We’ve come to rely on the Internet to access information
    • No longer just a preferred channel of communication for the tech-savvy and Gen Y’s
    “ If the power goes out, we go home”
  • The Rise of On-Line Social Networks: Increasing Levels of Collaboration Connect people with common interests and goals Provide emotional support and access to pertinent information “ People are connecting in ways we could have never imagined possible” -Oprah
  • The Rise of On-Line Social Networks: Gen Y’s Started This Conversation
    • On-line social networks have moved beyond a form of communication - they are a way of life
    “ It’s like Christmas coming early if Facebook becomes unblocked at work” -CSC Student
  • Consumer & Business On-Line Social Networks Intersect at LinkedIn
    • Create & Extend Your Network
    • Personal Profiles
    • Search Directory
    • Join Groups
    • “ Ask” Function
    “ Is there still such a thing as the ‘old boy’s network? If so, what strategies would you recommend to succeed in spite of it?
  • Consumer & Business Intersect at www.lifemeetswork.com
    • A clearinghouse for news and information on flexible work arrangements
    • A sounding board and source of community for those seeking or managing flexible workplaces
    • A virtual job fair to connect workers with employers offering flexible work
    Source: www.lifemeetswork.com
  • Social Networking Technology for Organizations
    • Platforms used by organizations to make the practices and outputs of knowledge workers more transparent (McAfee - Enterprise 2.0)
    • Includes tools that make it possible for users to search, connect, share, collaborate and track information
    • Multiple users can generate widely visible content simultaneously
    McAfee, A. (2006). Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration, MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(3), 21-28.
  • Social Networking Technology for Organizations
    • Connecting: User Profiles/Networking
    • Sharing: Blogs, On-Line Forums
    • Collaborating: Wikis/Ask Functions
    Key Goals: Relationship Building Learning & Knowledge Sharing
  • Organizations Are Trying To Figure Out On-Line Social Networks
    • 23% of businesses block access to Facebook
    • 33% view Facebook as a major source of lost productivity
    • Many view Facebook as a security risk.
    • Sources: Challenger, Gray, & Christmas –
    • Survey of 200 of HR Professionals
    • Bersin & Associates
  • Organizations Are Trying To Figure Out On-Line Social Networks
    • The social software market is estimated to be $476 Million in 2008, up 72% from 2007 and $3-5 Billion by 2012.
    • Companies are using Facebook and other social networking applications in a variety of ways.
    Source: David Mallon, Bersin & Associates
  • E&Y Uses Facebook As A Recruiting & Knowledge Management Tool
    • Launched first ever corporate recruiting page on Facebook
    • Hosts Q&A Sessions on Twitter
    • Encourages tech-savvy interns to create on-line videos to share their experiences
  • Corporate On-Line Social Network Applications: Talent Management
    • Find Expertise
    • Career Navigation
    • Professional Development
  • Corporate On-Line Social Network Applications: Learning & Knowledge Sharing
    • ID Best Practices
    • Project Management
    • Brainstorming & Innovation
    • Capture Knowledge
  • On-Line Social Network Applications: Communities of Practice
    • Target groups with limited access to social networks
    • Mentoring
    • Knowledge Sharing
    • Building Social Capital
    • Career Navigation
  • Launching Social Software Thrivent Business Case
    • Today, women are redefining the marketplace and play a significant role in making major financial decisions for themselves and their family.
    • Representation of women varies widely across our regional field offices. In some areas agents may be extremely isolated.
    • In order to meet the needs of our membership we must build a more diverse workforce and connect them for success.
  • Launching Social Software Goals of Creating a Network
    • One cost effective manner to support this goal is to leverage available technology to create an online networking community for our women.
    • By utilizing a social networking platform we will:
      • Demonstrate Thrivent’s commitment to building diversity in the field.
      • Provide networking opportunities to build social capital and support systems for isolated FAs.
      • Create a venue of sharing, collaboration, and self development.
      • Showcase role models of success and build leaders
      • Facilitate mentoring and coaching experiences
  • Launching Social Software Benefits Value Driver Benefits Attracting, Launching & Retaining Top Talent
    • A magnet for recruiting and retaining top talent
    • Improved access to mentors, knowledge, expertise
    • Enhanced FA satisfaction “ being connected to organization ”
    • Increased productivity and retention
    Creating a Better Brand & Experience
    • A venue of support and learning opportunities
    • A sense of community leading to strong brand ambassadorship
    • Dissemination of targeted and consistent communications
    • Low-cost, high-impact method for increasing engagement
    Improving Enterprise Knowledge Sharing
    • Insights on field challenges in a collaborative environment
    • Improved access to people and information required to get jobs done
    • A platform to deliver training, build knowledge & skills
    • A way to leverage “ Connections ” to develop great leaders
  • Launching Social Software Implementation Challenges
    • Privacy, Security
    • Compliance & Oversight
    • Costs
    • Support & Mgmt
    • Business Integration
    • User Adoption & Corporate Culture
  • Social Software Oversight
    • IBM established a separate “new media” function within its corporate communication department to oversee IBM forums, wikis, blog, podcast/videocasts and collaborative technologies. According to IBM’s Philippe Borremans, “With wikis, we see that e-mail traffic among the team goes down by 20 to 30 percent”.
    Source: Weiss, Philip. 2007. Looking through the portal. Communication World (May-June).
  • More Applications: Market Intelligence & Customer Outreach “ You’ll find women you can laugh with, relate to, empathize with, and learn from” – Sponsored by Proctor & Gamble www.capessa.com
  • More Applications: Employee Support Networks
    • Ernst & Young (2007) created a social network for families of children with special health-care needs.
    • Regular conference calls
    • Expert speakers from both within and outside the firm
    • Private on-line message board
    • Private space on the firm’s Intranet to help members gain access to important information and connect on a social level.
  • More Applications: Extended Employee Relations
    • Dow Chemical Co. uses on-line social networks to help it strengthen relationships with company alumni, retirees and employees on leave to minimize the disruption to Dow’s business
    Frauenheim, E. (2007). Social Revolution. Workforce Management , 86(18). Business Source Premier Database, http://web.ebscohost.com.
  • So What Does It All Mean?
    • Which tools are your organizations using?
    • How are you using them?
    • Are your networks inside or outside your company firewall?
    • Are you measuring value (ROI)?
    • What factors contribute to success?
    • What are the barriers?
  • Social Software Providers
    • Direct vs. Consultant
    • Full Service Vendors: IBM
    • Stand Alone Software Providers: (Select Minds, Jive Space)
    • Consumer Sites: (Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning)
    • Existing Applications: MS Sharepoint
  • Conclusions: Best Practices for Launching Social Software
    • Target the Right Audience & Business Need
    • Build Internal Support (Leadership, IT, Legal, HR)
    • Establish Leadership & Oversight
    • Evaluate Usability
    • Direct Content
    • Question the Place for Anonymity