Should you open the door to your internal social network to clients ?

I was chatting with a friend last night on how their company is making its own internal social network available to clients to browse through and it raised an interesting question: should you open your internal network to clients ? And the answer was: why not ?

You’ve invested in a corporate Facebook and directed your employee network to log in, fill in and get in-volved. So now what ? Well what better way to promote the intellectual capital you have than exposing that to the client to get access to directly ? Careful curation and moderation from the start is required in order to achieve this so this kind of move should be part of the overall long term strategy you have for implementing an internal social tool of this kind, it’s not the sort of direction you want to take as an afterthought when there’s been weeks/ months/ years of content added that just isn’t up to scratch for client exposure.

Reward and Recognition

Your staff are the embassadors of your enterprise but do you really know who are the stars ? Like I eluded to in a previous post, HR should be mining internal networks to find who just are the real shining examples of the organisation but now there’s a real opportunity to understand who your clients actually favour to engage with on a longer term basis. With this in mind, you should be able to recognise and reward those who engage with clients and produce the results and also use them as internal examples of how an enterprise network can function for the good of the business.

Pitfalls

Nothing is without consequence and by being open with your capital your are potentially exposing yourself to all sorts of issues; staff poaching, bad service, malicious practice….networking is two-fold which is why it is paramount the strategy is completely understood and nailed across the enterprise before you embark down this path.

In an increasingly open, engaging and social business world any company that doesn’t want to open its doors in the right way may well find itself pulling down the shutters for good.

About these ads

6 responses to “Should you open the door to your internal social network to clients ?

  1. Customer communities are a powerful tool for strengthening customer relationships. They bring together customers, employees, and partners for the success of the customer. Maybe, the question should be, “should you open up your online customer community to your employees?”

  2. I think the operative phrase here is “careful curation and moderation from the start”. It shouldn’t just be the current state of the network, it should be a culture imbibed to everyone in the organisation.

  3. Yes. A simple answer, I think it was Bill Joyce at Sun who said that the smartest people are not in your organisation and to the extent that you can tap into a world wide network of really bright people and get answers, you’re greatly enhancing your social and intellectual capital.

  4. Pingback: Are you ready for the Quantified Enterprise ? | Successful Workplace·

  5. Pingback: How will you measure up to a Quantified Enterprise ? | IT :: redux·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s