In PR, it’s often difficult to determine how to use social media tools for our Enterprise clients. Also difficult: how to use social media tools for internal PR.
Last night, at a Social Media Club event, the topic of the evening was “Enterprise: Moving Forward.” The panel for the evening was moderated by “Naked Conversations” writer Shel Isreal. Panelists included Dave McClure (500 Hats, Graphing Social Patterns), Jeremiah Owyang (Senior Analyst, Forrester Research), Jennifer Jones (host of “Marketing Voices” on PodTech Network), Eleanor Wynn (Enterprise Architect, Intel), and Bob Duffy (Community Manager of Intel’s community, Open Port).
I tried to Twitter-cast the event, but even on a T9 predictive text enabled phone, it was tedious. For those interested in watching the 119 minute discussion, Ustream.tv captured the whole evening here. Lots of great ideas presented. Here are a few things that I brought back that could apply to PR and Marketing professionals:
- Blogs hosted on a company’s intranet can boost internal communications
- Remember: Allow an open forum
- Leave comments enabled and respond respectfully
- Internal Wiki’s can increase team collaboration
- For large, multi-national companies, an internal social network can really help bridge the distance and increase team rapport
- Allow tagging of photos and interests
- Close the feedback loop
- Show employees what suggestions have been implemented
- If you really want to shake it up:
- Digg-like voting on suggestions
- Video, video, video!
- Look to existing conversations and communities before implementing your full-strategy
- If your product is a finely-focused niche, there may not be a community. That’s your chance to facilitate the conversation with your brand as the moderator!
- Company blog makes a HUGE impact in the enterprise space
- Position spokespeople as thought leaders
- In addition to your products, discuss current and future trends
- Enlist community managers to comment on other blogs and address negative conversations threads in a thoughtful manner
- Create communities where company reps ask questions about product development or allow users to suggest new products/changes
- Go Geek!
- Many companies (incl Intel) have gotten heavy traffic by using their sites/communities to publish White Papers, behind-the-scenes videos, production notes, demo videos, etc.
- Once again, close the feedback loop:
- Show customers that their thoughts count and have been implemented
- This helps establish a realm of trust that opens dialog. Instead of pushing your message, you allow many voices into the discussion about your product/brand
- Feeling bleeding edge: Customer/Company Wiki’s blur the line between intra- and inter- nets
- Bottom Line: It’s all about a conversation with the customers
- Check out Intel’s Open Port or Dell’s IdeaStorm [my earlier discussion of Dell’s social media tactics here]
Has your company used social media internally? Have you implemented social media tactics to help build a community around your Enterprise product? I’d love to hear about it.
Also, feel free to comment on any of these ideas.