Corporate Social Networking Forum - sign up and get involved

The Corporate social networking forum in London is coming up on the 8 June – if you haven’t signed up then its time to get involved with the world of social networking and Twitter and find out what it can do for your business.

I am chairing the event so I have pasted in my foreward for the event’s brochure, which I hope gives some useful background as to why this is such an important area for business!

One social networking platform above all others has shot to prominence over the past 12 months – and that’s Twitter. Before that it was Facebook and MySpace. Others will come and others will go, but there can be no doubt that online social networking is here to stay. To begin with, the rise of social networking platforms was generally regarded with mistrust by corporate companies who were worried that their staff would lose productivity by chatting to their friends on Facebook all day.
Most companies that ban or restrict access to social networking platforms in the workplace, due so because of concerns over productivity.
Then new concerns arose, around security and data mismanagement. Employees, too, have come to realise that “knowledge is power” and that changing your Facebook status to: “I’m at home pulling a sicky” is a fast-track to the dole queue.
More recently companies have started to adopt a far more enlightened approach to social networking and are now actively embracing social networks.
My employer, Reed Business Information, is for example, experimenting with Yammer.
There have been some horror stories that may have prompted adoption of social networking tools within the social world. One great case study is Dominos Pizza. From having no brand presence in the Web 2.0 world, the company suddenly found themselves all over Twitter – for the wrong reasons. Two Dominos’ employees posted a video on YouTube showing – graphically – how they prepared your pizza – and it wasn’t pleasant. The incident caused a storm on Twitter and elsewhere online, attracting some really bad PR for the company, to which it couldn’t easily respond. Dominos didn’t have any presence on Twitter and wasn’t monitoring the “noise” about its brand. Dominos learnt quickly the value of an active presence on social networks to communicate with its customers and cope with the occasional emergency PR storm. Dominos’ response was late but in the end it got its act together. It dealt with the employees, had the video removed from YouTube and managed to get its side of the story across, but by that time the damage to the brand was huge. Today’s event will first look at the role of social networks within a business to help employee morale, improve retention rates and internal communication. The next session will concentrate on Enterprise 2.0, explaining the theory and its practical application and why it’s valuable to businesses and employees. After lunch the forum will make the business case for social networking and will follow this up with a session that looks at success stories and how it’s possible to fund Enterprise 2.0. I hope you enjoy the day, take part in the discussions and take away useful lessons and advice from today’s conference programme.