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Enterprise Social Media: Five Common Questions


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Enterprise Social Media: Five Common Questions

  1. 1. Enterprise Social Media: 5 Five Common Questions and Lessons Learned
  2. 2. 5 Common Questions Table of Contents 3. Introduction: Approaching the Web 2.0 Groundswell 4. Managing Participation The Question: How Do You Encourage and Manage User Participation? Lesson Learned: Speed Up and Slow Down Community Activity Controlling the Flow of Bad Content and Good Slowing the Surge of Bad Content Controlling What Users Perform Using Automated Moderation Features Leveraging Good Content 7. Controlling Security and Access The Question: Who Can Get In; and What Can They See and Do? Lesson Learned: Categorize Content and Users; Control Access 9. Compliance and Auditing The Question: Who Did What? Lesson Learned: Use Versioning and Audit Tools 10. Recognizing Content Ownership The Question: Who Owns the Content? Lesson Learned: Establish Ownership 11. Choosing a Technology Strategy The Question: What’s Best for My Users? Lesson Learned: Be Ready for Change 12. Summary: Learning from Experience
  3. 3. 5 Common Questions Introduction: Approaching the Web 2.0 Groundswell The rise of Web 2.0 communities such as MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn is driving a groundswell of social media activity that many businesses are clamoring to take advantage of. As organizations begin to think through their social media strategy, they raise a lot of questions. An experienced provider of Web 2.0 communities, Awareness hears many of these questions first hand. And we offer practical advice on ways to address them. This report discusses five common questions we hear and the real-world lessons we’ve learned helping customers build effective Web 2.0 strategies. These lessons stem from our experience developing internal- and external-facing social media communities for leading brands such as Marriott, the New York Times, McDonalds, Cannondale, Northwestern Mutual, Discovery Channel, JetBlue and Kodak. One major observation is that regardless of the business a company is in or nature of the community it wants to build, its concerns are shared by almost everyone considering a Web 2.0 strategy. They typically relate to the same issues, including: • Legal considerations • Brand image • Community ethics and integrity • Participation and community dynamics • Intellectual property rights • Technology strategy As your business begins charting its course in the Web 2.0 frontier, you’re likely to encounter the same concerns. The questions highlighted in this report and resulting lessons learned will help you address them with confidence. 3
  4. 4. 5 Common Questions 1 Managing Participation THE QUESTION: How Do You Encourage and Manage User Participation? Every community’s success depends on user participation. When considering how to optimize this, customers often express two concerns at opposite ends of a spectrum. The first is that they will devote resources to a community and no one will participate. The second is that everyone will participate in what could become a chaotic, difficult-to- manage “wild west” environment. ? No one Participation Everyone Failure? Wild Wild West? Common Web 2.0 Question: Will too few or too many participate? Lesson Learned: Speed Up and Slow Down Community Activity Effectively managing user participation requires some essential capabilities: 1) A speedometer that enables you to watch the flow of content, and gauge how the community is evolving 2) An accelerator to increase the rate of contribution and speed up participation 3) A brake pedal to decrease the rate of contribution and slow down participation The best social media solutions provide these capabilities through a combination of facilities: You Need Accelerator Speedometer Brake Pedal Social media tools for controlling the flow of bad content and good content. • The ability to place users into different groups and control their permissions • The ability to control if a user’s content is published directly to the community or requires explicit approval from a moderator first • The ability to monitor content with strong manual and automatic moderation tools 4
  5. 5. 5 Common Questions Managing Participation (cont.) Fostering Open, Controlling the Flow of Content Transparent Communities Some organizations are understandably concerned about ensuring that community Monitoring content for contribu- content is consistent with brand image, not hurtful or offensive, or doesn’t violate IP tions that are offensive, hurtful ownership rules. It’s common for these organizations to launch their communities with or inconsistent with brand controls that closely regulate the flow of content, then open them up to allow a faster image, or violate IP leakage rules rate of participation as they become more comfortable with the dynamics. is very different from looking for controversial or critical content. Slowing the Surge of Bad Content It may be appropriate to reject Organizations that notice a surge in “bad” content can use social media software content that uses swear words, controls to moderate the postings of specific community members or member groups, for example, but we advise and restrict their permissions if necessary. This is often achieved by controlling a user’s companies not to reject content status. Two common status settings are Trusted and Untrusted. from users that criticize the company or its products or The contributions of a member who is Untrusted, for example, can be automatically services. We’ve found that the routed to a moderator’s inbox for explicit approval before it appears in the community. best communities are open, In contrast, the contributions of Trusted users are posted automatically without any transparent, and enable moderation restrictions. As community behavior evolves and you learn more about members to express themselves specific individuals, you can change a member status and their authority to perform freely in an appropriate manner. specific activities. You should also be able to adjust these controls for specific users or groups of users, depending on the needs of the community. Controlling User Activities Controlling what activities a user or a group of users perform is another valuable capability. For example, some organizations start by allowing some users to just comment or vote on content. Often, they will later give them the option to post their own content or edit others’ in a Wiki. Using Automated Moderation Features Automated moderation facilities make it possible to watch contributions for bad content without requiring a moderator to manually review each post. By creating rules that automatically flag or reject content if it contains certain words or phrases, an organization can be comfortable that the content flowing to community members is not violating company ethics, codes of conduct, or IP ownership rules. 5
  6. 6. 5 Common Questions Managing Participation (cont.) The L es son Leveraging Good Content It can be equally beneficial to watch postings, comments and RSS feeds for “good” content. What qualifies as good content varies by the nature of the community and 3 Use manual goals of the organization. Perhaps you’ve just launched a new product and want to and automatic know when a member writes about it. Or, maybe you want to know what people are moderation tools saying about an event or user conference you just ran. 3 Control user With automated moderation, your social media software can automatically watch every permissions piece of content — such as postings, comments and RSS feeds — to see how often certain words or phrases are used, and notify you when they are posted. This is an effective and nearly effortless way to monitor positive content in your community. You can leverage this capability in other creative ways. Here are two examples: 1. Automatic categorization. Some automated moderation facilities automatically assign categories to posts based on the content. This is useful for importing an RSS feed and ensuring that the content is placed in the appropriate categories. 2. Automatic link insertion. Having content with appropriate links to other relevant content is a useful capability, but authors often forget to insert the URLs. Some automated moderation facilities replace text in a post. This enables you to watch for certain words and phrases, and then convert them to URLs that point to predefined destinations. For example, you might maintain an online glossary of acronyms and convert any acronyms in a post to live links to entries in the glossary. You can also convert any mention of your company name to the URL of your website. The latter is a capability we use in our public Awareness community. 6
  7. 7. 5 Common Questions 2 Controlling Security and Access THE QUESTION: Who Can Get In, and What Can They See and Do? Another set of questions involves controlling access to and participation in Web 2.0 communities. Common questions we hear include: • Who can access my community? • What security measures do I need to control access? • What content can a user see? Can everyone see all content? • What actions can users perform in the community? When dealing with these questions, here are some issues to consider: 1) Will your community be a public one that anyone can access? Or, will it be private, for example, only for groups such as employees, customers or partners? 2) Will your community have a mix of participants? If you build a community that mixes employees with prospects and customers, you need to think about security and access implications. 3) Will you segment your users? If you build a community that includes all customers, you should think about giving special permissions to certain customers that have paid for a “gold” level of service. 4) Will your users require some type of authentication? If this is the case, you might want to integrate your community with your single sign-on or identity management systems. You may find it useful to integrate with one system for employees and another for customers. 5) Is there some content that only certain users can see? If you mix partners and employees in one community, you may not want your partners to see the same content that your employees see. 6) Do you need to control what actions a user can take? For example, you may want to allow a set of users to read and comment on some content, but not directly contribute to it. Typically, companies start by building two types of communities: 1) Internal-facing communities for employees; or 2) External-facing communities for customers, prospects and/or partners. Eventually, companies find they can achieve the greatest value with a blend of participants. That usually implies that not all of them have access to the same content with the same privileges. 7
  8. 8. 5 Common Questions Controlling Security and Access (cont.) Lesson Learned: Categorize Content and Users; Control Access The L es s on A strong social media solution should blend security and access management with a category structure that enables you to control what specific groups of members see 3 Decide who can get in and do when they log in. You can apply a category structure to both private and public communities, as well as internal- and external-facing communities. You create categories 3 Build category-level to match the varying characteristics of different community groups. There are many structure different use cases for category-level access and control. Here are some examples: • Category for executives only 3 Use profiles • Area only for members working on a special project and including a blend of users such as employees, customers and partners 3 Assign privileges • ”From the experts” category where anyone can see or comment, but where only 3 Use single sign-on or users with an “expert” status can post identity management • ”Suggestion box” where everyone can post but only select people can read integration where • ”Featured posts” area that only select users can write to but anyone can read appropriate • Wiki that only select users can edit, but anyone can read Internal- Topics facing Post? private • Topic 1 Edit? External- External- ? • Topic 2 • Topic 3 Delete? Comment? facing facing public private Category-Level Security and Access Security and Access Case In Point An innovative online travel business offers a social media community that blends content contributed by consumers with content contributed by travel experts. The expert-provided content in contained in wikis that only the authors are authorized to edit, but anyone can read. This gives the online travel business two advantages: 1. Ability to track version histories of expert-delivered content 2. Maintains credibility of expert endorsements 8
  9. 9. 5 Common Questions 3 Compliance and Auditing The L es s on THE QUESTION: Who Did What? Another common concern we hear is how to find out who did what and when. Consider 3 Track member content a situation in which an employee posts objectionable content to an internal community and then later realizes the misstep and retracts the posting. What if the posting caused 3 Version some damage during the short time it was live? Can you prove the employee actually made the post? You can’t if your social media solution permanently removes the 3 Audit for compliance deleted posting. and discovery You need to be able to prove the existence of the original posting, if necessary. This requires capabilities for tracking the history of content posted to the community at any point in time, even content that has been removed from public view. This is particularly important for discovery and compliance purposes. Lesson Learned: Use Versioning and Audit Tools We recommend that you track community content activities with a social media solution that saves deletions and versions all generations of members’ postings. If you’re ever concerned about a user’s activities, you can use the social media software’s auditing features to verify how the user’s content evolved over time. 9
  10. 10. 5 Common Questions 4 Recognizing Content Ownership The L es son THE QUESTION: Who Owns The Content? Today’s focus on intellectual property rights is sharp. And whether you’re building a 3 Establish ownership corporate Web 2.0 community or using an open solution like Facebook or MySpace, you need to ensure that members have a clear understanding of several factors. 3 Understand terms of These include terms of use, content ownership and what happens in different use and different ownership scenarios. ownership scenarios Lesson Learned: Understand Ownership If you’re considering an open community to generate conversation about a particular offering or event, one of the first things you need to think about is how your content may be used. For example, some social media providers have terms of use agreements that give them the authority to use your content however they choose. While this may be appropriate in some cases, you need to consider the implications in respect to the kind of content you want to generate. The second factor to understand is who owns the content — whether it’s the user, the company that sponsors the community or the service provider that stores the content. The answer to this question is essential for understanding what happens to content in The Value of Establishing different circumstances. Ownership: Two Cases In Point For example, if an influential employee leaves your company, should she be able to A highly-recognized Microsoft take her blog with her? You may not have a claim to it if it was executed in an open blogger was able to take his community like Facebook or MySpace. When it’s in your interest to own and control use blog with him when he left of employee blogs, it’s best to build your own Web 2.0 community and ensure that you the company. Was that good have ownership rights to the content. or bad for Microsoft? Terms of use? Whose owns it? What happens when? When a former Motorola CTO “…you grant, to the Company an • The user? • The user leaves the company? announced her departure for irrevocable worldwide license to use, • The company? • The content is inappropriate? Cisco, Motorola was able to copy, publicly display, reformat, trans- • The provider? • The content violates take her public blog down late, excerpt and distribute such User trademark or IP ownership Content for any purpose, commercial, immediately because it was advertising, or otherwise.” managed in a corporate community. Other questions to consider: If an employee leaves your company, can he take his e-mail inbox and saved messages with him? Can a sales rep take the contents of your CRM system? Are contributions to a company-sponsored social community the same or different? 10
  11. 11. 5 Common Questions 5 Choosing a Technology Strategy The L es son THE QUESTION: What’s Best for My Users? The Web 2.0 world is new for most companies. As a result, deciding what features and 3 Use scalable, extensible technologies you need in your social communities can be daunting. One point is clear: technology Wherever you start, you can be sure you won’t finish in the same place. What’s the implication? As communities evolve and members’ needs grow and change, you need 3 Use a platform, rather the flexibility to incorporate new capabilities into your Web 2.0 solution as quickly and than point product(s) easily as possible. Lesson Learned: Be Ready for Change You need to ensure that you can build a community that can adapt to the addition of new features and enhancements over time. If you create a community with a collection of point products — such as separate blog, wiki and photo sharing tools — the responsibility of integrating these products into a unified community experience falls on you. This is not easy and there are additional challenges when you want to incorporate new features. A better alternative is to use a social media platform. With this strategy, the vendor bears the burden of ensuring a unified community experience and integrating new features over time. You can focus on the business benefit of the community while the vendor focuses on the technology. 11
  12. 12. 5 Common Questions Summary: Learning from Experience As companies increasingly embrace Web 2.0 communities, they will continue to encounter questions. Among these are deciding how to approach legal and intellectual property issues; promoting a consistent brand image; upholding ethics and keeping a pulse on community dynamics; and implementing effective technology strategies. Awareness has built a wealth of experience helping leading brands like Marriott, the New York Times, McDonalds, Cannondale, Northwestern Mutual, Discovery Channel, JetBlue and Kodak create successful Web 2.0 strategies. In the process, we have learned valuable lessons on how to effectively meet the challenges of this evolving technology environment. We share these lessons with you in this report. And we encourage you to use them to your advantage, as you navigate ways to achieve real business value from the growing social media groundswell. Contact Information: About Awareness Awareness, Inc. Awareness helps companies build and operate branded Web 2.0 communities. These online 880 Winter Street, Suite 300 communities let customers, prospects, employees, or partners connect with each other and share Waltham, MA 02451 content. At the core of the Awareness solution is an on-demand social media platform that combines the full range of Web 2.0 technologies—blogs, wikis, discussion groups, social United States networking, podcasts, RSS, tagging, photos, videos, mapping, etc.—with security, control, and Tel: 1 866 487 5623 content moderation. Awareness builds these features into complete communities for companies, Fax: 1 781 622 2378 or customers use the Awareness API and widgets to integrate Web 2.0 technologies into their own web properties. Major corporations such as McDonald's, Kodak, the New York Times, Awareness Canada Northwestern Mutual, and Procter and Gamble use Awareness to build brand loyalty, generate revenue, drive new forms of marketing, improve collaboration, encourage knowledge-sharing, 5050 South Service Road, Suite 100 and build a “corporate memory.” Burlington, ON L7L 5Y7 Canada Tel: 1 866 487 5623 Fax: 1 905 632 4922 © 2008 AWARENESS, INC.