Friday, January 18, 2013

Social Media in the Enterprise? That'll Never Happen!

I just had an interesting exchange during an identity management planning discussion. We were reviewing fields included in a new HR system for possible mapping into the ID management system, and saw that fields to capture Facebook and Twitter IDs were included. Most folks in the room started laughing. I mentioned that social media handles or IDs will be included in internal employee directories sooner rather than later.  The reactions ranged from scoffing to comments like "scary."

Whether Twitter or Facebook accounts specifically will transition to the corporate staff directory remains to be seen.
Do you doubt that some method for sharing social media accounts across the mainstream enterprise will happen soon?
I'm sure some forward thinking organizations already do this, since it's made it to at least one HR system's default fields list.

Sidebar: I know there are social media management tools that allow companies to create internal social networks. Often it's an add-on to a suite of tools for monitoring and managing your company's social presence. That's an interesting start, but what individual wants to actively participate in a closed social network with yet another social account or persona? There are only so many people out there who participate in more than one social network/tool, especially when that network doesn't allow you to auto-link with Facebook. I have active Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts. I'm not normal (insert you're joke silently here). Enterprise social management tool vendors should design their tools so that internal staff can easily choose what content to include or not include from their existing social network of choice.

Back on topic, what do you think? Will (or should) companies look to integrate links to employee social media profiles? Obviously it would need to be voluntary, but the upcoming dominance of digital natives will take care of that. What are the benefits? The drawbacks?


  1. Just came across this:

    ZDNet - 2013 predictions for enterprise social media

  2. My company asks for Twitter and Facebook IDs on the job posting site (at least for internal applicants). It's optional and I doubt many people offer up that info. Otherwise, our systems don't yet have those fields.

    I don't see public-style social media (Twitter and Facebook) succeeding in traditional business due to England's Law: all online channels eventually degenerate into babble. I don't think corporations will put up with that. There is a great divide between our real-life personalities and our digital ones...bringing them into the workplace won't let you keep them separate. And that seems like a scary proposition. 

    See for a great example of the difference between digital and physical self. 

  3. Tim, I don't disagree with you (or Rob) about channel degeneration. That's why I'd like to see a move toward corporate social tools with the ability to control what comes in and out of the corporate bubble. It will be several years before the current generation of Facebook and Twitter to dissolve into babble, so tools would be developed with those, and Google+, as the likely first integrations. Ideally, the social management tools will allow the individual employee to identify the content they want to share with their co-workers, and the content they wish to keep outside of work. My point is that the social providers won't do this for us.