Crowdsourcing and other powerful tools

enterprise social technology

Book Review
Enterprise social technology.
Helping organizations harness the power of social media, social networking, social relevance.
Scott Klososky.
Greenleaf Books, 2011. 279 p.

In Enterprise Social Technology Scott Klososky shows how to build  a holistic plan for incorporating social technology into corporate communications.

Klososky is also author of The Velocity Manifesto. He is former CEO of three startup companies, including Alkami Technology, an online banking platform.

He wants “to move the discussion past whether the CEO should be tweeting, or the organization developing a Facebook fan page.” Enterprise Social Technology clearly delineates how to integrate the full range of social tech tools to make a meaningful difference in an organization.

Social technology is not an assortment of software applications, he says, but a collection of new capabilities including user-generated content, microblogging, and e-communities.  Social technology involves
SOCIAL RELEVANCE, encompassing the online reputation of an individual or organization;

SOCIAL MEDIA, the use of Internet and mobile media (videos, documents, photos, slide presentations) for sharing ideas, messages, or entertainment; and

SOCIAL NETWORKING, reaching people through a variety of communication methods and online communities.

Each of the book’s 12 chapters describes one of the 12 steps in the process of implementing social technology into an organization. Some of his recommendations:

Establish teams to create social technology goals. Members should be aligned with wider organizational goals and should reflect the company’s values, mission, and vision.

When setting its social tech goals the organization should ask “Why do we do what we do?” Only when this purpose is clear are social tech goals assigned and aligned with the company’s broader mission.

Design an internal governance policy so that all employees know their positions when social technology is introduced. The policy statement should focus attention and resources on high-priority issues—aligning and merging efforts to achieve the institutional vision.

Develop a listening process, establish an engagement policy, that defines how you will respond to the positive and negative things said about you and your brand; and implement a measurement system that gauges how often people are talking about you online and whether the sentiments they express are positive or negative.

One of the book’s strengths is the many examples of social tech use. Klososky summarizes success stories from British Airways, BBGeeks.com, Dell, JetBlue, and even a small, family-run insurance agency in little Henderson, Ky.

Klososky emphasizes the power of crowdsourcing, which harnesses the power of talented people all across the Internet, without a need for the management structure and the overhead found in traditional outsourcing. Examples of crowdsourcing include MyStarbucksIdea.com, 99designs.com, Procter & Gamble’s PGConnectDevelop.com, FashionStake.com, Threadless, and vintner Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It!.

Although it’s difficult to measure the return on investment for social technology, Klososky says it can be done:
Measure the current effects of your social technologies.
Set objectives for ROI.
Determine social tech results needed to meet objectives.
Source and implement social tech measurement systems.
Measure results, compare to objectives, and adapt continuously.

Developing a pilot projects may be the most important step in your social tech strategy. Klososky cites examples of pilot programs that have helped companies and brands to achieve larger goals.

As a side note, when Klososky decided to write a book about social tech he was determined to practice what he preached. He used social technology, specifically crowdsourcing, to augment the book.  He created a detailed outline and wrote the first section and the last two chapters. Then he used crowdSPRING.com to crowdsource the content for the other chapters. The whole book was then edited at least twice by both the publisher and Klososky.

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