Businesses have been sluggish to bolster the usage of professional social-networking platforms among employees. As a result, the usage of public social networks may provide an avenue for increased implementation of internal corporate social networking.

Public social network practices to enhance internal social network use in companies

According to a 2012 enterprise social networking survey from InformationWeek, research shows that 87% of companies have social networking tools; however, its usage is limited among employees with only 13% of IT professionals able to say that their internal social networking system is effective among its workers. Such business-oriented social networking platforms were originally created to enhance communication, productivity and collaboration but are not being fully employed. Considering company employees are subscribed to public sites such as Twitter and Facebook, business are looking to leverage such usage in order to adopt a better internal social networking platform.

External social networks influence corporate implementation

Traditional methods of social networking such as online directories and the majority of businesses currently employ forums. However, an increase in more advanced social networking tools can be integrated into existing systems in order to facilitate communication among employees. Such tools include social bookmarking such as a Facebook’s “Like” button, which could allow for a user to express a preference for a concept or content. By using this tool in an internal social network, workers could increase awareness to a particular subject among employees. Additionally, tagging is a tool that can be used in forums, for example, which allow for visitors to recognize trending topics. Both tagging and social bookmarking, common features of social public networking sites, are likely to leverage the collective wisdom of co-workers, allowing users to stay aware of key company information. In spite of potential company benefits internal company platforms, 35% of those surveyed say that in 2012, user adoption remains the biggest hurdle to fully using internal corporate social networking.

IT Professionals are crucial for such integration

Traditionally seen as a marketing department’s initiative, IT professionals are called on to increase business-oriented social networking implementation. Internally speaking, this translates into companies leveraging the habits of users on public sites and encouraging their usage inside of the company. However, before implementing such practices, IT would need to fix internal social networking in order to have a baseline for employees before integrating external functionalities. Subsequently, IT would be able to provide guidance on security and monitoring issues that affect how internal information is shared and integrated within the company.

By Marcus Burke