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


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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

    1. 1. Understanding the Value of On-Line Social Networks in Corporate America Michele Durkin, Thrivent Financial Sarah Rand, College of St. Catherine
    2. 2. What We Plan To Talk About Today <ul><li>The Rise of On-Line Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate On-Line Social Networking Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion - How are your organizations using social networking technology? </li></ul>
    3. 3. 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?
    4. 4. The Rise of On-Line Social Networks: “Shift Happens” Created by Fisch, McLeod, & Bronman in 2006
    5. 5. What Is Social Software - Web 2.0? <ul><li>Next generation of Internet technology </li></ul><ul><li>Fosters communication & collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthens existing & enables new connections </li></ul><ul><li>End users can also be contributors </li></ul><ul><li>Open flow of data - transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Often bottom-up </li></ul><ul><li>Tools are easy to use – anyone can use them </li></ul>
    6. 6. The Rise of On-Line Social Networks: Technology Is Just A Way of Life <ul><li>We’ve come to rely on the Internet to access information </li></ul><ul><li>No longer just a preferred channel of communication for the tech-savvy and Gen Y’s </li></ul>“ If the power goes out, we go home”
    7. 7. 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
    8. 8. The Rise of On-Line Social Networks: Gen Y’s Started This Conversation <ul><li>On-line social networks have moved beyond a form of communication - they are a way of life </li></ul>“ It’s like Christmas coming early if Facebook becomes unblocked at work” -CSC Student
    9. 9. Consumer & Business On-Line Social Networks Intersect at LinkedIn <ul><li>Create & Extend Your Network </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Search Directory </li></ul><ul><li>Join Groups </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ask” Function </li></ul>“ 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?
    10. 10. Consumer & Business Intersect at www.lifemeetswork.com <ul><li>A clearinghouse for news and information on flexible work arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>A sounding board and source of community for those seeking or managing flexible workplaces </li></ul><ul><li>A virtual job fair to connect workers with employers offering flexible work </li></ul>Source: www.lifemeetswork.com
    11. 11. Social Networking Technology for Organizations <ul><li>Platforms used by organizations to make the practices and outputs of knowledge workers more transparent (McAfee - Enterprise 2.0) </li></ul><ul><li>Includes tools that make it possible for users to search, connect, share, collaborate and track information </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple users can generate widely visible content simultaneously </li></ul>McAfee, A. (2006). Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration, MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(3), 21-28.
    12. 12. Social Networking Technology for Organizations <ul><li>Connecting: User Profiles/Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing: Blogs, On-Line Forums </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborating: Wikis/Ask Functions </li></ul>Key Goals: Relationship Building Learning & Knowledge Sharing
    13. 13. Organizations Are Trying To Figure Out On-Line Social Networks <ul><li>23% of businesses block access to Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>33% view Facebook as a major source of lost productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Many view Facebook as a security risk. </li></ul><ul><li>Sources: Challenger, Gray, & Christmas – </li></ul><ul><li>Survey of 200 of HR Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Bersin & Associates </li></ul>
    14. 14. Organizations Are Trying To Figure Out On-Line Social Networks <ul><li>The social software market is estimated to be $476 Million in 2008, up 72% from 2007 and $3-5 Billion by 2012. </li></ul><ul><li>Companies are using Facebook and other social networking applications in a variety of ways. </li></ul>Source: David Mallon, Bersin & Associates
    15. 15. E&Y Uses Facebook As A Recruiting & Knowledge Management Tool <ul><li>Launched first ever corporate recruiting page on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Hosts Q&A Sessions on Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages tech-savvy interns to create on-line videos to share their experiences </li></ul>
    16. 16. Corporate On-Line Social Network Applications: Talent Management <ul><li>Find Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Career Navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Development </li></ul>
    17. 17. Corporate On-Line Social Network Applications: Learning & Knowledge Sharing <ul><li>ID Best Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming & Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Capture Knowledge </li></ul>
    18. 18. On-Line Social Network Applications: Communities of Practice <ul><li>Target groups with limited access to social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Building Social Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Career Navigation </li></ul>
    19. 19. Launching Social Software Thrivent Business Case <ul><li>Today, women are redefining the marketplace and play a significant role in making major financial decisions for themselves and their family. </li></ul><ul><li>Representation of women varies widely across our regional field offices. In some areas agents may be extremely isolated. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to meet the needs of our membership we must build a more diverse workforce and connect them for success. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Launching Social Software Goals of Creating a Network <ul><li>One cost effective manner to support this goal is to leverage available technology to create an online networking community for our women. </li></ul><ul><li>By utilizing a social networking platform we will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate Thrivent’s commitment to building diversity in the field. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide networking opportunities to build social capital and support systems for isolated FAs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a venue of sharing, collaboration, and self development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Showcase role models of success and build leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate mentoring and coaching experiences </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Launching Social Software Benefits Value Driver Benefits Attracting, Launching & Retaining Top Talent <ul><li>A magnet for recruiting and retaining top talent </li></ul><ul><li>Improved access to mentors, knowledge, expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced FA satisfaction “ being connected to organization ” </li></ul><ul><li>Increased productivity and retention </li></ul>Creating a Better Brand & Experience <ul><li>A venue of support and learning opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>A sense of community leading to strong brand ambassadorship </li></ul><ul><li>Dissemination of targeted and consistent communications </li></ul><ul><li>Low-cost, high-impact method for increasing engagement </li></ul>Improving Enterprise Knowledge Sharing <ul><li>Insights on field challenges in a collaborative environment </li></ul><ul><li>Improved access to people and information required to get jobs done </li></ul><ul><li>A platform to deliver training, build knowledge & skills </li></ul><ul><li>A way to leverage “ Connections ” to develop great leaders </li></ul>
    22. 22. Launching Social Software Implementation Challenges <ul><li>Privacy, Security </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance & Oversight </li></ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Support & Mgmt </li></ul><ul><li>Business Integration </li></ul><ul><li>User Adoption & Corporate Culture </li></ul>
    23. 23. Social Software Oversight <ul><li>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”. </li></ul>Source: Weiss, Philip. 2007. Looking through the portal. Communication World (May-June).
    24. 24. 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
    25. 25. More Applications: Employee Support Networks <ul><li>Ernst & Young (2007) created a social network for families of children with special health-care needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular conference calls </li></ul><ul><li>Expert speakers from both within and outside the firm </li></ul><ul><li>Private on-line message board </li></ul><ul><li>Private space on the firm’s Intranet to help members gain access to important information and connect on a social level. </li></ul>
    26. 26. More Applications: Extended Employee Relations <ul><li>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 </li></ul>Frauenheim, E. (2007). Social Revolution. Workforce Management , 86(18). Business Source Premier Database, http://web.ebscohost.com.
    27. 27. So What Does It All Mean? <ul><li>Which tools are your organizations using? </li></ul><ul><li>How are you using them? </li></ul><ul><li>Are your networks inside or outside your company firewall? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you measuring value (ROI)? </li></ul><ul><li>What factors contribute to success? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the barriers? </li></ul>
    28. 28. Social Software Providers <ul><li>Direct vs. Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Full Service Vendors: IBM </li></ul><ul><li>Stand Alone Software Providers: (Select Minds, Jive Space) </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer Sites: (Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning) </li></ul><ul><li>Existing Applications: MS Sharepoint </li></ul>
    29. 29. Conclusions: Best Practices for Launching Social Software <ul><li>Target the Right Audience & Business Need </li></ul><ul><li>Build Internal Support (Leadership, IT, Legal, HR) </li></ul><ul><li>Establish Leadership & Oversight </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Content </li></ul><ul><li>Question the Place for Anonymity </li></ul>