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Social media has changed our world in ways some would term “revolutionary” and others term it “irrecoverable.”  While world news has certainly illuminated the positive life-changing ways social media has helped specific causes, it seems that quietly, behind the scenes, enterprises have tried to use social media for their own revolutionary growth without the same impact. Unfortunately these times of social distancing has put even more pressure on the reliance for social interaction via social media and this has created a new set of challenges.

An article by Kevin Kelleher on CNN Money titled “Where is social networking headed next” offers this:

“What do you get when you cross a buzzword like “social networking” with an eye-glazing term like “enterprise software”? A buzzkill — in this case, one called “enterprise social networking.”

Wow… a Buzzkill!  That was a pretty strong prediction back in March of 2012 when this article was published, but boy was it accurate.  Two years later and the enterprise social networking dream has yet to materialize.  In fact I’ve had the good fortune to chat with over two dozen CIOs of some of the largest enterprises in the United States and every one of them complained of either:

  • the “social noise” generated by enterprise social media platforms; which is to say that they become deluged with such a volume of personal or nonsensical input as to render it completely useless or
  • the “complete apathy” to use within the enterprise; which is to say

In a guest contribution to TechRepublic titled “How Yammer is killing enterprise social networking” the author offers that the promise of social networking within the enterprise centered on three areas:

  1. Primal: problems that have real impact and measureable if real dollars
  2. Visionary: potential opportunities for future improvements, new business opportunities or product and service offerings
  3. Operational: deals with the day-to-day functional or procedural issues

I would offer that the ultimate issue with the breakdown of social networking within the enterprise is the scope of communications.  Which is to say that social media for consumer-driven value is open ended and mob or trends rule the short-term visibility.  Within the enterprise opened items tend to feel unresolved and therefore useless, so what is needed is the ability to contain, control and curate the conversation in order to gain true CrowdSourceing, CrowdSolving and potentially even CrowdFunding of top (read “actionable”) initiatives.