Opinion
May 7, 2012

Building the social media business case

Quote of the week

“To maximize (social media) potential within your organization, intelligent risk management is essential.”

– Deloitte Enterprise 2.0 report

Editor’s Corner

There’s no shortage of stuff being written on social media in government organizations. This Deloitte report coins the term Enterprise 2.0 in an attempt to add value to ongoing discussions about how best to implement social media in organizations.

It applies to both public and private sector organizations.

The report reminds us that social media is a change agent, a point my colleague Paul Crookall and I noted in our May 2010 IPAC study on social media in government. The study warns of a paradigm shift, arguing that “soon social media usage, be it internal or externally facing, will become commonplace in all organizations.”

The report starts moving into new territory when it reminds organizations that they need to think carefully about which social media they will use. Don’t just put it up there because it’s available: have a strategy.

In short, develop a business case.

The report notes there are over 300 social media platforms and lumps them into six categories: multimedia, virtual community, entertainment, review and opinion, collaboration and conversation.

Of the six ways in which social media can improve business, four apply to public sector: human resources recruitment, training support for clients, promoting innovation and communicating the “brand.”

Some useful questions to ask before implementing social media: what is our strategy? What outcomes are we looking to achieve through social media? What is our governance model?

Stay tuned on this issue of building a business case for government organizations: Paul and I are doing further work with IPAC on this thanks to the generosity of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and will have a report out soon.

 

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