Posts Tagged ‘hp’

There was a saying that someone once recited to me when I first started work, and it went like this:

“There are three types of people that you will encounter in the workplace, those who love you, those who hate you and finally those who are undecided. Don’t focus on those who love you as they are already on your side, likewise, don’t focus on those who hate you as you won’t sway them either way, focus on those who are undecided as having their approval means you hold two thirds majority and that’s all you’ll ever need.”

With social media this task is made even simpler, and the figures are skewed even further in your favour. It only takes 1 – 3% of uploaders or contributors to a social media platform to jump on something for it to reach ‘critical mass’ and become a viral hit, so it’ imperative to ‘be prepared’ (as the Scouts say) before delving into the abyss that is the Enterprise 2.0.

Stacks of cash don’t just grow on trees

As with any business venture there is uncertainty which can be quantified as ‘risk’. Depending on the risk presented, companies may be willing to take a gamble on an investment in the hope of making a something out of next to nothing. While this is a nice pipe dream and may pay off in certain ventures, the odds when it comes to social media are about at good as robbing a casino… naked… with only a pair of pliers, a chastity belt and a copy of Richard Dean Anderson’s autobiography.

So what am I getting at here? Process! There needs to be order amongst the chaos and that calls for the identification of keys areas to focus on. The key question I would be asking are as follows:

– What is the social structure of your target market?

– Who are the most active 1 – 3% of uploaders or contributors and how do you identify / reward them?

– What factors can you systematically identify to increase viral, interactive and social influence / referral factors in relation to your business?

It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, it’s WHO you know not WHAT you know! Knowing who you are dealing with, your target market, their social structure and associated groups, friends, fan pages, organizations etc is key to not only knowing your audience, but drawing them into the community.
Trust is the key here, as social networks are basically a collection of people who have ties to other people, and the strength of these ties form the basis of a relationship. Being able to harness this though directing information (information flow), fostering ties and associations with your target audience will ensure you’re on the road to success.

Likewise, if you can find the contributors in this community and actively seek to engage them, that 1 – 3% can escalate very quickly into a juggernaut (NSFW – Language Warning).

“Like” for success  

Once these key questions above are addressed, the next step is to plan, develop and implement social network strategies to ensure their objectives are met and challenges addressed.

While there are both internal and external factors to consider here, the key areas I would be tacking are as follows:

– Creation of official pages, fan pages, groups, apps etc to drive and foster a community externally. This encourages collaboration from multiple sources early on and cements a foothold in social media cyberspace.

–  Taking a Risk based approach with implementation and execution due to volatile nature of social media as well as ensuring data sovereignty question are answered early on, this ensures everyone knows ‘who own the information’.

– Internal controls such as policy, procedure, fair use, disciplinary action and physical (i.e. computer hardware and applications) devices developed and used pro-actively  to ensure maximum business benefit

For a case study, HP (yes the computer company, not the sauce brand) found their skills base was disappearing whenever a staff member left the organization. As well as this they found a huge amount of enterprise 2.0 technologies already being used by staff, however some of these such, as online wiki’s, were storing data outside the HP network and thus they did not have control over sensitive corporate information.

Their senior management set about the task of turning what could have been a disaster into a very well crafted strategy to embrass the new medium, as seen below.

Taken from HP Whitepaper on Implementing Social Media:

 “To develop our strategy, we:

Collaborated with Human Resources and Information Security to develop a usage policy with • governance, legal, and security considerations at the forefront.

Performed extensive exploration, including defining usage models to identify the needs of • individual users.

Performed proof of concept (PoC) tests to evaluate business value and user acceptance of • different products.

Defined an architecture and an approach to phased implementation.”

They also set realistic and achievable goals instead of seeing it as a cash grab:

“To develop our strategy, we:

Collaborated with Human Resources and Information Security to develop a usage policy with • governance, legal, and security considerations at the forefront.

Performed extensive exploration, including defining usage models to identify the needs of • individual users.

Performed proof of concept (PoC) tests to evaluate business value and user acceptance of • different products.

Defined an architecture and an approach to phased implementation.”

So there is method to this madness?
Indeed there is! If you take nothing else away from this post it should be that the cost of inaction when it comes to taking on this new and emerging technology is greater than the potential benefits.
To ensure success you need to secure it both inside and outside to mitigate your potential risk footprint. This means taking time to observer, learn, develop, implement and maintain physical, logical and policy controls at all times.
Identify opportunities where there will be maximum business value for minimum outlay, ensuring low risk opportunities give high return on investment.

Finally, shop around, there is no one perfect suite of tools to manage both your internal and external social media needs, but avoid (like the plague) simply purchasing tools because the box with the flashing lights looks pretty, ensure they meet your needs!

Well that’s the final blog post for this year, it’s been a fun ride and I’ve enjoyed being an active part of the community over these last few months.

All the best and see you again soon! Have safe and happy holiday! If you’re bored for ideas, I found this on The Oatmeal: