Social Media: It’s about People not Tools
In my first Bloggertone post – Social Media inside the Corporation – I introduced the story of how a personal interest in what we then referred to as Web 2.0, had grown into a key business initiative inside the organisation where I work, which we now call SNBC (Social Networking & Business Collaboration). It has been an exciting journey over the last two plus years, with many twists and turns as we have adapted to the various challenges of trying to increase usage of Social Media for internal communication and collaboration.
So what has been our biggest learning during this period? Without a doubt it has been that Social Media is not about a set of tools, it is about the people who use them.
In our early attempts at trying to get internal teams to adopt social media, it quickly became apparent that you could not pick any random tool, implement it, and hope that it would prove successful within a particular team.
There were countless examples of individuals or teams who started a Blog or a Wiki, or a Social Networking Community, which started with great bravado, but after a few weeks or months, ran out of steam. The individual or team did not go through the process of thinking through exactly why they needed to use the tool in the first place and more importantly if the tool they selected was the right one.
Quite often we found teams that had implemented a Blog when they should have used a Wiki, or setup a Social Networking Community, when a Blog might have been more relevant. They simply had not addressed their communication and collaboration challenges first.
One of the first steps we took when we setup the SNBC team, was to adopt a methodology that would help us to overcome the aforementioned challenges. The methodology that we followed was the POST methodology from the book Groundswell – see below.
This process tells us that before we even get to decide the technology, we first need to consider the People, Objectives and Strategy. In the last 12 to 18 months we have closely followed this methodology, in our dealings with various individuals and teams. Overall it has led to a much more successful adoption of Social Media.
To get more insight into our approach it’s worth having a look at the following slide-share presentation that my boss just put together over on his blog StopThinkSocial.