The Dawn Of The Social Enterprise

Decentralizing Social Media Ownership

  • 64% of companies’ communication, marketing or HR teams have changed as a result of social business
    • 38% of organizations have centralized management of social media
    • 48% have moved to more matrix-structured teams and processes
    • 85% of companies who are engaging employees via social media say the level of employee participation has increased in the previous 12 months
The Dawn Of The Social Enterprise

Image courtesy of Luc Legay on Flickr.

THOUGHT: Steve Rubel once said that social media should not be one person’s job 100% of the time but 100 people’s job 10% of the time.

The point is that the experience and skills of using social communication should be developed within the entire organization. The idea that business use of social media should be available only to certain employees is as absurd as enforcing the same policy for the telephone.

Customers expect brands to have a presence on Facebook; and within large organizations, that channel has been typically owned by public relations departments. But they also expect customer service via Twitter and that channel is best managed by those closest to those issues, the customer service reps. Prospective employees expect to get a sense of a potential employer through its social media presence and as a result, HR needs to play a role in that presence.

The stats I cited come from the 2012 FedEx/Ketchum Social Business Benchmarking Study of 55 companies with more than 2,000 employees and more than $2.5 billion in annual revenues.

Clearly, companies are beginning to see the value of harnessing social technologies and the safest place to begin to understand social’s potential for the enterprise is a controlled environment, within the enterprise itself. A long-standing case study for doing just that is Best Buy’s Blue Shirt Nation.

It’s no surprise that employees are responding to their companies’ efforts to engage them socially.

For the most part, they adopted social communication a long time ago. Consumers are the leading edge of technological adoption. While companies practice prudence and wait till new technologies are proven, employees apply pressure from within because they are also consumers who bring their experience outside of work into the workplace.

Think of employees using Facebook on their smart phones to quickly chat with fellow employees about a work project despite their company’s policy against its use.


  1. GraemeThickins on August 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

    David, nice stats!  But that Blue Shirt Nation link goes to a dead page. Maybe that’s fitting, as I understand it’s no longer an active project at Best Buy, Which raises the question…why? I think it’s because the company concluded it didn’t need a special program — all employees should just naturally be on social media, and pretty much were.

    • derickson on August 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up on the broken link, Graeme. I fixed it. 

      I think you’re probably right as to why Blue Shirt Nation is no longer active but I imagine they’d lose something by relying solely on public social media. 

      There are plenty of internal issues any employee would be reluctant to discuss in open forums but that the company would benefit from a discussion within its own walls, so to speak.