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Enterprise social media policies and strategies: A guide for CIOs

Enterprise social media policies and strategies are evolving as organizations recognize the benefits, risks and functions that social networks like Facebook and Twitter provide.

Developing an enterprise social media and collaboration strategy requires a lot more than a CIO asking employees, "Hey, can you post something on Facebook about our company?" A comprehensive approach to enterprise social media and collaboration requires frank discussions about an organization's needs for both internal and external communication, a process to determine who maintains responsibility for social media communiqués, and standards for keeping collaboration-based initiatives on track.

Is your company up to date on the most recent developments in enterprise social media and collaboration strategies and platforms? Have you observed how social media can aid an organization? Have you considered the possible drawbacks? Learn more about establishing and nurturing an enterprise social media and collaboration strategy in this guide.

This guide is part of's CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic guidance and advice that addresses the management and decision-making aspects of timely topics. For a complete list of the topics covered to date, visit the CIO Briefings section.

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  Enterprise social media strategy
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Enterprise collaboration is hot, judging by the rush of vendors selling collaboration platforms. But collaboration is especially potent when it takes advantage of the social instincts of employees who are passionate about something.

When Best Buy Inc. launched its musical instrument business two years ago, the company looked to an unusual source for online customer support: employees in any corner of the Richfield, Minn.-based retail giant's operations who were enthusiastic about music.

"They asked employees, 'Who here has a passion for music?' Then they asked them to help in the company's online communities," said François Gossieaux, president of Human 1.0, a marketing consulting firm in Andover, Mass.

Learn more in "Make social passion the cornerstone of enterprise collaboration." Also:

  • Social media and networking ushering in a 'third wave' of capitalism
    Pepsi gets it, so does Coke. But social media and networking are not just about selling soda. They represent a "third wave of capitalism," one guru says. Ignore it at your peril.
  • Idea management software: The future is now
    It might sound like a sci-fi movie, but CIOs now are using ideation management software to tap into the minds of employees scattered across the enterprise.

  Enterprise collaboration platforms
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"The diligence, however, is quite different in these systems," said Rob Koplowitz, principal analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based IT consultancy Forrester Research Inc. Security, authentication protocols, identity management and other policy management capabilities are, or will be built to enterprise standards. "The question for the enterprise becomes how you go about doing this, because some of the strategies can be quite different," he said.

Learn more in "How to select an enterprise collaboration platform (hold on tight)." Also:

  • With new enterprise collaboration platforms, 'social' means business
    Forget about pushing people to use wikis and blogs. The rush is on to build enterprise collaboration platforms that pull social networking into every workstation.
  • AAA turns to Web-based collaboration tool to spark new ideas
    In an effort to get employees to put on their thinking caps, AAA invests in a Web-based collaboration tool that formalizes the idea-management process -- and adds some fun.
  Social media and collaboration in action
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The Vanguard Group Inc., the mutual fund giant with some $1.4 trillion in assets under management, considers itself a conservative company.

"We have not adopted business-casual at work yet," said Abha Kumar, principal for IT at the Valley Forge, Pa.-based investment management company. "We are very, very risk averse."

And yet, the company has embraced corporate social media and Web 2.0 tools as an integral part of its business model. Vanguard was early among mutual fund firms, according to industry trackers, to launch a public blog. The company has staked a claim on the major social networking platforms, with a Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence, a Twitter account and the Vanguard Channel on YouTube.

Learn more in "Why a conservative mutual fund company loves corporate social media." Also:

  • SharePoint installation helps Continental Airlines track flight delays
    A SharePoint installation helps Continental Airlines respond to new regulations designed to shorten tarmac delays.
  • Social media, mobility shape business process automation in Las Vegas
    CIO Joe Marcella, a seasoned practitioner of business process automation, talks about his approach and how the recession -- and social media -- have made BPA more critical than ever.
  Social media considerations
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CIOs had better start paying attention to the fact that the I in IT is beginning to represent the personal pronoun more than the word information. That's what I found myself thinking after reading a study about the consumption of social media by students.

The study, which was conducted by the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda at the University of Maryland, concluded that American college students are social media addicts -- (tethered to BlackBerrys, laptops, television, iPods -- especially iPods). When they were cut off from using social media for just 24 hours, students described having symptoms associated with drug and alcohol addiction: In withdrawal, frantically craving, very anxious, extremely antsy, miserable, jittery, crazy. They reported feeling unconnected, even to those close by, according to the study. They were most discomfited by their lack of access to text messaging, phone calling, instant messaging, emailing and Facebook -- their primary means of connecting to friends and family.

Learn more in "A generation of social media addicts." Also:

  • IT exec gets muzzled on use of social media, security
    The use of social media for legitimate business purposes is a hot-button issue for companies, and a balancing act for IT execs.
  • Don't be a horror story! Why social media policies matter to the CIO
    Social media policies are crucial in the age of Facebook and Twitter, where security and compliance risks abound. How can the CIO avoid social media notoriety?
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