Originally posted on Gigaom:
Enterprise social networking may still be in its infancy when it comes to widespread adoption, but its popularity as a buzzword could hardly be hotter. What’s the result? A lot of folks with little experience of how to best use enterprise social tools rushing to introduce them. That’s not a recipe for a flawless roll out of new ways of working and sharing.
So what usually goes wrong? At Net:Work 2011 Podio CEO Tommy Ahlers suggested companies often make things too complicated, complaining about “Swiss army knives” that try to solve every problem and end up failing users. When I spoke with Yammer CEO David Sacks a few weeks ago, he suggested that companies often go wrong by “trying to bolt that on to some existing tool, because if the tool isn’t built from the ground up to be social, it’s not going to have the level of usability that’s required.”
Now David Lavenda, VP of marketing at social email company harmon.ie, has gotten into the act, offering up common ways that well intentioned companies muck up the roll out of social tools and suggesting better ways to bring these tools to your team. “Simply throwing out social tools isn’t going to work,” he says, pointing to recent Forrester research that found widespread under-utilization of social tools. The study shows that even though companies have invested in an average of five or more tools, 64 percent realized few, if any, benefits from that investment. Only 8 percent actually use social collaboration software once a week.