Every organization's journey with social business tools is different. But there are milestones that every organization needs to reach to ensure technology is adopted. Success comes only when the platform is deeply integrated with business goals, corporate culture and brand promise.


David Carr, an editor at InformationWeek, notes that organizations that place high value on social connections seem to enjoy the smoothest path to adoption. The software behind the platform is not nearly as important as the understanding of how the network of relationships delivers value to the organization. This understanding doesn’t just happen, as Carr observes:

Employees must be enticed into using and experimenting with these environments enough that they see both the business utility and the value of the social component–how building stronger connections with other people, and meeting new people through the network can help them get their work done.


Carr’s point mirror’s a point that we’ve often made - you simply can’t assume that the seemingly effortless success of social media like Twitter and Facebook will translate into instant adoption within the enterprise. People need to see the business value of a social platform before they will be interested and they probably will need some education before they see results.


Organizations might use "social" to communicate better with customers, to share knowledge within and between business units, or to drive innovation. Successful adoption depends on having a clear strategy for using social tools to achieve these goals. And getting clear on strategy means getting past a lot of hype and misunderstanding about social enterprise.