Are you social or anti-social? Notes from the #BCSsocial event

Last night at BCS central London branch / BCS Women event, @JemimaG, @JoanneJacobs and @LJRich discussed the pros and cons of social media, chaired by @Dr_Black.

The speakers had some interesting hints and tips for businesses as well as some good case studies for using social media within business.

Jemima gave a talk on using social media in business to make sure organisations stay competitive with its customers and avoid alienating its customers and employees.

She looked at Best Buy’s Blue Shirt Nation . It’s a $100 social network based on Drupal Best Buy built for its employees.

Best Buy had a staff turnover rate of 60%, which went down to 10% among the employees who used the social network. When it was replaced with a regulated and moderated system, it “killed the joy”.

Jemima’s believes by encouraging and faciliating social networking in the workplace, companies can retain more of its talented employees.  

She also reckons employers can assume employees will self-moderate or perhaps there’s a greater issue within the company.

Also look up Luis Suarez who got rid of email as a form of communication for his role at IBM.

@LJRich talked about what companies should do to control social media if there’s a problem or negative comments. She looked at the #CiscoFatty and #welovebaskers examples.

Her best practice included:

– Think before you react

– If the problem is in public, finish it in private

– Find out more about the originator of the comments

– Is there a better place than the internet to resolve the dispute?

She said the trick is to be flexible and have the autonomy to respond, which seems sensible.

What are your thoughts about the use of social media? The audience seemed quite divided about whether social networking during work time – whether for work or personal purposes – was a good or negative thing.

Just came across a picture posted to Twitter , playfully objecting to the ‘lack of gender diversity’ at the event. Too many women in IT. Now there’s a first.

UPDATE: @Dr_Black has written a blog post that does a good job of rounding up all the coverage from the night.