5 keys to building a successful enterprise social network

Knowledge is a key ingredient of organizational success, regardless of industry, type, or size of the organization. Many tend to think of knowledge flow management within the context of IT, as that's where most of the tools used to foster knowledge sharing within a company are based. But social media offers a significant opportunity for engagement, with the infrastructure of an enterprise social network (ESN) functioning as a super watercooler: It enables more conversations across a larger, more distant pool of people and even occasional participation is worthwhile.

A successful ESN within your company will lead to increased collaboration, a better sense of global connectivity, agility and speed in performing business processes, and better and faster answers for questions drawn from the full diversity of your organization. Ultimately, your company will be better suited to face the growing challenges of market dynamics and competition.

Here are five key factors to keep in mind when you want to introduce an ESN and make it successful over time:

1. Don't start a social media effort with the goal to run it as a top management tool to inform your employees, rather…

2. Look at it as a long-term initiative not as a short-term project. Technology will only be one part of the solution.

3. Get your most experienced social media experts (i.e. your bloggers) on board and get them to help you build momentum.

4. Choose an open and passionate community manager that is likely to stick with the initiative longer-term.

5. Create and manage a pulse through regular and ongoing activities. It will give your initiative the lifeline it will need to survive longer-term and provide a much higher return of investment.

Find out more about building an ESN in Frank Leistner's new book, Connecting Organizational Silos: Taking Knowledge Flow Management to the Next Level with Social Media.

tags: enterprise social network, ESN, knowledge flow management

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