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SOCIAL MEDIA: Do you need an enterprise social media platform?

Enterprise social networks raise employee engagement levels to new heights, claim their advocates – making them a powerful internal marketing tool. Andy Sivell reports

Common sense and best practice dictate that effective brand-building and rebrands should accurately reflect attitudes within the whole organisation. But we all know that isn’t always the case. The recent rise and rise of social media, however, has brought with it a new dimension to internal engagement. Enterprise social networks actively encourage a free-flow of ideas – and communication – across all levels of an organisation. When that happens it’s difficult to simply impose an arbitrary set of brand values. People will talk.

Enterprise social what?
First of all, what are enterprise social media platforms? Imagine Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn rolled into one, with document and application sharing facilities, and you just about have it. The key difference here is that where traditional intranets and other enterprise software tend to impose structure prior to use, enterprise networks tend to encourage use prior to providing structure. They allow users within the same or linked organisations to collaborate with one another in a very intuitive manner, by swapping files, creating groups, monitoring information streams, and generally making it easy to cut through the clutter to focus only on what is of immediate interest to them.