Social media is ingrained into the fabric of our culture. Platforms such as Facebook will soon reach one billion registered users. LinkedIN.com has redefined the way that SharePoint professionals seek employment. Google +1 button is starting to influence the purchasing decisions that we make based on our friends’ recommendations and Plaxo.com has socialized traditional contacts management. The corporate intranet is starting to reflect our collective social consciousness.
SharePoint is the dominant intranet platform within Fortune 500 companies. The release and adoption of SharePoint 2010 has signified that Enterprise Social Computing is the present and future of how we collaborate. SharePoint
is more than just a web based location to collaborate on Office documents. Organizations now have the tools to empower their user communities to rate documents, apply specific notes, create unique tags, and search for specific
expertise and locate individuals within the organization who can deliver this capability. Implementing a social media strategy represents new challenges for many organizations.
Here are 3 tips for ensuring that your organization can meet the challenges of deploying social features within your environment:
1.) Ensure your organization has a written Social Media Plan.
Documenting your Social Media plan provides many advantages. The main benefit is that it provides objectives for social features being deployed within the organization, safety issues, education and resources, and mitigating
concerns with data leakage, and intellectual property. In addition to the organization’s technical team, the following groups should also review and provide additions to the Corporate Social Plan.
1.) Legal team
2.) Compliance Team
4.) Human Resources
Your Corporate Social Media Plan is a part of a solid governance strategy to ensure that your organization is leveraging social features in a safe and effective way.
2.) Leverage the success of popular platforms to introduce SharePoint’s social
The easiest way to educate employees is to relate concepts that the target audience is already familiar with. Facebook has over 700 million registered users. SharePoint’s MySites deliver many similarities to Facebook’s Wall.
Using Facebook references serve as a great starting point for training and End User education. Tags and Notes are also common to several other popular social platforms. Introducing these concepts in the context of relating them to popular platforms will enable your users to enjoy a shorter learning curve due to the fact that they are leveraging several other popular platforms that are familiar to them.
3.) Ensure that your user community has a firm understanding of SharePoint lists
and libraries before introducing social features.
It is important that your employees understand the core features and functionality of SharePoint. Understanding how to add, edit, delete, list and library items, and utilize Search effectively are essential to leveraging key social capabilities. Keep in mind trhat the social capabilities of SharePoint 2010 provide new ways to share the base features that SharePoint offers, so understanding them is key to successful adoption of Enterprise social features.
By following these 3 tips, you can ensure that your user community will have a greater understanding and experience leveraging the social capabilities that SharePoint offers.
Written by: Shadeed Eleazer, Planet Technologies SharePoint Architect, Microsoft Dynamics SharePoint Partner