One of the amazing business benefits of a social collaboration platform is that it enables the discovery of otherwise unknown subject matter experts deep within your organization.  By making that knowledge and expertise available to the company, you can reduce costs, improve time to market, and streamline processes.


Discussing “finding experts” as a social use case it is a fairly vanilla conversation.  A user will type in keywords and the social tool will search content and profiles for matching individuals.  Alternatively, experts may find you by org-chart-image-300x199.jpgresponding to a question or commenting on a document you author.  But this description does not properly illustrate the incredible impact you can make across your company.  Consider this real world example.


On a recent social network implementation, there was a bright marketing professional named Julia.  She was about 25 years old and worked in one particular product area of this large company.  Although in the workforce for just a few years, Julia had spent considerable time working on what is known as “SEO” or Search Engine Optimization.  SEO is an important concept in marketing that consists of techniques and strategies to improve your website’s ranking in Google’s search results.  As we know, users rarely scroll beyond the first few results, so it is critical that your website ranks among the first. 


Julia was very good at her job, but because she was part of a large company with many layers, she was unknown outside of her group.  The company launched a social collaboration tool and Julia was part of the first group to quickly adopt and leverage the platform.  The company had many professionals who also focused on SEO for their product areas.  Each was an island with little interaction or awareness of each other.  These individuals quickly began to post SEO related questions, form groups and discuss techniques on the social platform.  Julia thrived in this environment.  She answers questions, posted best practices, and established herself as a SEO expert at the company.   Her efforts were not only benefiting the company, but Julia also benefited personally knowing her skills were helping others.

It is hard to say how many products and websites benefited from her expertise and techniques, but it was certainly many of them across the company.   Through her leadership she also was providing free training to others in the company to bring everyone up to the same level of expertise.  Imagine doing that for each functional area of your company!  To top it off, all of this occurred over a two month period.  It is an amazing story that is not unique to this company or this individual.  In a knowledge economy, countless numbers of rock stars exist at your company.  Social collaboration helps raise the profile of your subject matter experts, many of whom are hungry to make a difference by sharing what they know.


Andrew Kratz

Social Edge Consulting, LLC


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