Do you understand how all the users will interact in a social media implementation?
I always told my staff that email was the worst form of communication ever invented for business. All email are written as if you're speaking to a person face-to-face and all email are read as if they are a formal memo copied to everyone's boss. This context mismatch is compounded by the asynchronous nature of any dialogue.
Social media is not free from these problems. Everyone likes to point to facebook as an example of how well it works. But this is not valid as "friends" tend to have a common context for their interaction on facebook. Such context cannot be assumed in the business world. Those on facebook who don't share this context tend to respond by opting out (not participating). This goes unnoticed. The same thing happens in business - people just don't participate. This also goes unnoticed. However, that unnoticed lack of participation is fatal to a professional environment condemning the social media implementation to the scrap-heap of well-intentioned ideas that just didn't work.
Social media implementations, like all applications that went before them, must be designed to fit the context of all the users. If anything, it is more dependent upon user acceptance than any ERP or BI system. It is probably true that "if you build it, they will come" but it is also true that "they may come but they won't stay." For every hour spent implementing a social media solution, 10 hours should be spent understanding all the users who will have to use it to make it successful.
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