Social Media: And you thought the first wave was major
As we find ourselves very much in the midst of the social media craze, consumer pick-up rates are skyrocketing at exponential speeds. With the successes I’ve seen of many Fortune 100 (global) companies, there is no question to me that social is here to stay. It’s being strongly embraced by business and is simply too much a part of our daily lives for it to just drop off the face of the earth.
In terms of concept, the first wave of social media currently allows us to communicate across distances we never thought imaginable and fosters a form of collaboration never seen before (from the consumer point of view). We know when our friends are traveling and where they are going and suggest places they should go when they arrive. We discover common friendships/connections that we may never have known about before.
Now, get ready for the second wave: internal social communication. It’s not only being adopted by businesses, but it’s being driven by them.
I had the privilege to speak with Cisco’s Andrew Warden, head of strategy and communications, emerging markets (@apwarden), while attending The Corporate Social Media Summit East Coast 2011. Let me tell you, when it comes to internal social, the implications he was talking about actually sent shivers down my spine.
Cisco has created a network that is accessible only to internal employees, fostering an even higher level of trust and communication within the organization. Andrew provided an amazing real-time example that spoke to how Cisco is utilizing internal social.
When Andrew arrived in New York, he updated his geo-status and said he was attending #csmny. Sounds simple, but the amazing part is what followed. A colleague of his (on the other side of the world) sent him a message suggesting that Andrew follow up with a contact his colleague had in New York. In terms of context, Andrew had never met this individual, and never thought to email his colleague to ask him if he knew anyone in New York. Now, that is connected!
I’ll elaborate. Andrew explained that they are currently involved in a pilot program that utilizes mobile apps to share information internally. High-level description: They can retrieve up-to-date documents/case studies on the fly, share important (timely) information with our colleagues and even administer an internal reward system to encourage participation (Gamification at its core, which I love!).
Cisco, in my opinion, is not only aware of another wave about to hit, they actually have their surfboard positioned perfectly to ride it and utilize its power. Looking forward to the next steps, Andrew!
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