Gartner Inc., an IT research and advisory company, has predicted poor results for companies using enterprise social networks.
The networks, which are like private versions of Facebook for use within organisations, are gaining in popularity with larger companies but Gartner’s research suggests that 80 per cent of efforts will not be successful by 2015, due to a lack of understanding about the skills needed for social networking.
As many companies who already use Twitter or Facebook’s newsfeeds to interact with customers know, social networking depends on relationships and understanding how people interact and how to meet their needs. The same principles apply to enterprise social networks but Gartner has suggested that many managers will overlook this and focus instead on the IT involved.
Enterprise social networks can be valuable within companies for using social methods of distributing business information and news of events, for example. It is estimated that these networks will be used by 50 per cent of large companies by 2016. When utilised properly, they make use of connections between people so that information can be given in dialogue. However, this depends on an understanding of how different people within different departments interact with each other.
Many organisations have already had the chance to practise their social networking skills on sites like Facebook, with success often achieved by those with the best understanding of their customers’ likes and needs. Used properly, social networking can be extremely powerful in getting people to share information which is genuinely useful or interesting.