I’ve just realised that there was something else I meant to say about yesterday’s discussions on Social Media in Enterprises: not one person said that social media are already in enterprises!
They may not be there productively; they may not even be there legitimately; but they are there.
The people who work in enterprises – people like me and you – are active on social networks. They are on Facebook and Twitter; they look at their favourite bands’ pages on MySpace.
They know their way around the internet, and they are used to performing transactions online: they buy CDs on Amazon, they search for free music downloads, they catch up on TV programmes on iPlayer…
They have social and management skills learnt through gaming.
And they carry the world around in their pocket – because most of them have their mobile sitting in their pocket.
They will be using social media whether their employers want them to or not: they’ll be looking at their friends’ Facebook pages in down time, they’ll be tweeting as they sip their coffee and natter to their colleagues.
The organisations they work for aren’t using their skills; they are not leveraging the knowledge and behaviours their staff have exercised by playing around on the internet.
But like it or not, social media are already in enterprises, and organisations that realise this, and can work out how to put all the knowledge, skills and behaviour to work will have an advantage.