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Recent Articles

5
Jun

The Cloud: An Engine for Growth

By Karen J. Bannan

It’s well documented that organizations are looking to the cloud for everything from infrastructure to security to social business software. Many companies are finding such success that they are migrating their infrastructure completely. Worldwide cloud computing will be worth $90.7 billion by 2018, according to Juniper Research, with software-as-a-service offerings topping the $53 billion mark in that same year. SaaS sales were $23.2 billion last year, according to the research firm.

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3
Jun

And the Survey Says: Using Polls in a Social Business Strategy

By Karen J. Bannan

Searchenginewatch.com recently posted a story about the benefits of using polling as part of a social media strategy. The story detailed how polls could be used to glean free product feedback, gain a deeper understanding of customers and build a larger and more engaged community.

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29
May

The Importance of Social Media and Social Business Policies

By Karen J. Bannan

A recent news report detailed a revised social media policy implemented by the Kansas state Board of Regents. The policy states that the employer – in this case the local university – can now suspend or fire an employee if their statements made on social media are viewed as “contrary to the best interests of the employer.” The policy was reviewed by the state’s attorney general and was approved.

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27
May

Creating Participation, Excitement for Social Business Efforts

By Karen J. Bannan

There’s a statistic that’s been thrown around a lot recently by journalists – even me – who are writing about social business: Four out of five social business efforts will “not achieve the intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology,” according to a recent Gartner study, Predicts 2013: Social and Collaboration Go Deeper and Wider.

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22
May

Social Business and Accountability

By Karen J. Bannan

This winter I started working with a new client that uses a social business platform. I was asked to log on and use it. Although I had used such a platform before, I wondered if it would hold me back or add additional work to my already full day. I started using the platform and realized something: I loved it.

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20
May

Social Business Hiring Practices: Which is better? Haves or have nots?

By Karen J. Bannan

Forbes last week published a story about social marketing talent. The story briefly touched on the conundrum of the modern hiring manager: Is it wise to hire someone with a lot of social business experience and knowledge?

The narrative detailed the positives and negatives of hiring someone with lots of “Klout.” On one hand, according to the story, a candidate with a lot of social business experience is a “natural sharer,” ready and willing to help add benefit internally and externally. On the other, social business mavens may put their personal brand ahead of their new employer’s brand. They may also create chaos by asking too many questions.

It’s an interesting problem that doesn’t really have a one-size-fits-all answer. Every manager must make the best decision he or she can using the very thing that invariably led to that candidate’s experience: social media.

Start with LinkedIn. What kinds of groups is the candidate involved in? How frequently do they start or comment on discussion threads? What’s the overall tone of those comments? Are they effusive and positive or negative and morose? Has the candidate ever bashed or maligned previous employers or co-workers? If so, was it done in a professional manner? (Yes, it is possible to make an unfavorable comment in a supportive way.) Then take a look at your candidate’s Twitter feed and Instagram if possible. Again, how does your candidate represent him or herself in public? Is the content that’s being created smart, insightful and, most important, professional?

It will be difficult for you to assess a candidate’s internal social business efforts, especially in a climate when it’s nearly impossible to get references to confirm someone worked for them much less how they worked for them. In this case, you might ask the candidate directly about the internal social business work that he or she has done in the past. By listening carefully, you’ll have a good idea if you’ve got a potential star or rogue.

In the end, the only way to see if someone will be a good addition to the social business fabric and culture of your company is taking a chance. However now, with social business, you’ve got a little more background to work with.

14
May

The Cloud Helps Make Social Business Mobile

By Karen J. Bannan

According to an April 2014 SNS Research report mobile networks are generating more than 86 exabytes of traffic annually. At the same time, sales of tablets overtook sales of desktop and laptop PCs during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to IDC. This expansion of mobile technologies – in addition to the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend — is contributing to the evolution of social business. Always-on, always available computing makes it easier for employees, partners and customers to connect with a business – and with each other.

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8
May

How Can Your Vendor Help You?

By Karen J. Bannan

Facebook is pushing harder to add small businesses to its advertising customer base, according to Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer. She detailed a new campaign called Facebook Fit during an interview with the Associated Press.

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6
May

What is Social Business?

By Karen J. Bannan

People are often confused about the term social business, using it interchangeably with social media, even at the management level. At the same time, IT often treats a social business rollout like any other software implementation. The result: Social business programs often stumble at first, a fact backed up by recent research.

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24
Apr

Collaboration is Crucial – and Can Be Confusing

By Karen J. Bannan

Nearly all business leaders think collaboration is either crucial or very important, but more than half – 54% — say that the rapid convergence of collaboration and social tolls is also very confusing, according to a new study by non-profit research and education group AIIM, which serves the information management community.

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