Session One CSNF: Building a business and networking community

So this second session was looking at the current role of corporate social networking within business while analysing what the modern employee requires from employers to remain positive, motivated, engaged and productive.

Niall Cook, Author of Enterprise 2.0 and Worldwide Marketing Technology Director, Hill & Knowlton

Corporate Social Networking today and tomorrow. Download slides here.

How lucky are we? The first speaker for session one is the author of the book Enterprise 2.0. So who better to talk about “Corporate Social Networking today and tomorrow” other than Niall himself 🙂

The problem with Intranets….

One of the first thing Niall mentioned that caught my attention was the fact that intranets don’t work because they’re not communication tools, they’re publishing tools.  It actually goes the same with alot of websites still and even twitter feeds.  They are all call communication or social tools for a reason… They are meant to communicate / be social!!!

Culture change and the arrival digital natives

Alot of internal systems including email and intranets are no longer sufficient to do business anymore. Business has changed therefore processes and communication with customers and employees must change because the culture has changed.

This is also somewhat influenced by the injection of new blood or digital natives in organizations who would consider leaving their employer if they were not allowed to access sites like Facebook and YouTube. And according to Telindus study of 1,000 European employees that should serve as a warning to all employers and communicators because 39% of 18 – 24 year old employees would actually leave. As tweeted by the lovely @danasml, companies are all about the credit crunch & saving ££. Our work environment is changing. We need to be flexible! And lifting those bans on social networking websites is step number one.

Email Vs. Social Networks

@jackiefast managed to capture Niall’s comment on why people are turning to social networking… its because email is no longer efficient. I somewhat agree and disagree on this statement. So I went looking for someone or something that could give me some concrete data on how email has become inefficient. And here’s what I found. Check it out, very interesting data about how it takes 3 step to find information through social networks Vs. the 6 steps needed to find information via email. I’m sold!!!

Let’s talk RO ‘i’…
I remember when I first started my research on social media, one wise man once told me… if you’re using social media and your ‘I’ in ROI is still in capital, you’re definitely doing something wrong.  Most social media implementations come with either none or very little ‘i‘nvestment. Therefore the ‘i’ in ROi should be small.

The ‘I’ could be capital if it was … Return On Influence!
It’s true isn’t it. Social media is in fact about influencing people. And the only way you could do this is through spending time with people, creating a bond and nurturing a relationship.  I was inspired by this article by Debbie Weil, who writes a blog about corporate blogging. You can find the article here.
Debbie said…

Why is it Return on Influence?

Short answer: because the return is soft. The benefits of incorporating social media strategies into your marketing are real (and can no longer be  ignored) but they’re not normally measured in dollars….

So Return On Influence becomes, as I see it, a fluid concept. On one side, it’s how much you as a company (a collection of individuals) can influence your customers’ perception of your brand by sharing and listening.

On the flip side, it’s how much you can get out of enabling and allowing your customers to influence you. Whether it’s an idea for a new product or service (cf Dell’s Ideastorm) or a new strategic direction.

Workplace, business and employees are changing

I personally have discovered through my research that employees are working more and more from home. This is due to either flexi working arrangement or the fact that there are not enough desks for everyone!  So as Niall mentioned, “Employees are using funky programs at home. They don’t want clunky platforms at work. Be Accessible!” (via @danasml).

@nhaeny said something really useful that describes this in a nut shell…

Social networking has changed the way we behave & need to work. So embrace rather than ignore. Remember we no longer search we google!

CEOs need to be Guide not God. Employees want to be engaged & involved which increases productivity (via @smponline).
Baby boomers out… digital natives in?


So looks like the ‘digital natives’ are taking over management jobs as the baby boomers move out and retire. As mentioned above, digital natives are hungry for technology! People want to connect with other people in order to do their jobs. They want to connect in and out of work. (via @danasml).

Niall mentioned  that I feel holds so much truth in social media, which is…

Collaboration = Cooperation

You’re putting things in place where people are working together organically! Social media is about 4 c’s: Connect, Communicate, Co-operation & Collaboration.  Successful social tools deliver individual value first & foremost – needs to be bought into corporation social environment (via @smponline).

And last but not least, @awebbmaster managed to capture the conclusion quite succinctly…

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to enterprises adopting social tools. Need to determine what will work best.

Robert Johnson, Strategic Consultant, COI Strategy Consultancy



Managing, controlling and motivating the modern employee. You can download the slides here.


It was very appropriate to have Robert talk about the modern employee following Niall’s presentation about corporate social networking. And it was even more appropriate to kick it all off with the question…

Q: :What’s the diff between social networking & corporate social networking? (via @theredrocket)
A: Social networking vs corporate social networking – you replace friends with people who are useful to you.

Robert had some interesting chart to share with us that I feel you will find useful!

So how should your organization adapt to this…?
I found an interesting little presentation on how use can use social media to address HR priorities. Check it out!

To conclude it all, @danasml managed to capture it quite well…

Controlling employees – we can no longer use the word control! We need to work with employees. Show value & trust.

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  1. Pingback: DT (David Terrar)
  2. Niall Cook

    Nice write up. Thanks for capturing and for the additional insight.
    [rq=2136,0,blog][/rq]Helping executives get things done

    1. admin

      Thanks for the nice feedback 🙂 It was my pleasure to capture your presentation and hope to sit in on another one sometime soon! Will check out your book. Lots to learn!

      Liz Azyan

  3. E Commerce Web Development

    Nice post.Building online community and social network is a big activity.You can earn more and more.Thanks

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