You guys I'm like really smart now. You don't even know. You could ask me, Kelly what's the biggest company in the world? And I'd be like, "blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah." Giving you the exact right answer.

-Kelly Kapoor
The Office

Friday, December 10, 2010

Social Media and Business Continuity

   I really enjoy the blogs at Forrester Research. I got hooked after reading Groundswell by two Forrester analysts: Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li.  Sometimes their passion for their subject was a bit overwhelming and read a bit like a Sham-wow ad, from my cynical perspective, but the wisdom and depth of their analysis is truly exceptional.

   Augie Ray, also a smart person from Forrester, has a post entitled "Seven Things Your Organization Must Do Because of Social Media." The overlap between his instructions and the objectives of a business continuity plan really struck me. Specifically:
  • Listen
  • Participate
  • Respond
  • Move Faster
  • Understand every employee is a marketer (as well as a source of information)
   This post and Groundswell make it clear that you cannot adopt a middle-of-the-road approach to social media. Specifically, by ignoring the technology a company makes itself susceptible to risks associated with the misuse of it. This does not mean, however, that every body shop, grocery store and mutual insurer should immediately leap into the fray. The folks at Forrester show that a company can subject itself to even more risks by hurriedly embracing a platform.

   A well-defined social media strategy is a critical component of a business continuity plan, but like the plan itself, needs to be tailored to the organization. These strategies can be active or passive. A passive strategy is simply a set of guidelines that establish how employees should use social media - either at home or at work and a daily/weekly search on dominant social media platforms for the company name and other terms relevant to it and its line of business. An active strategy would incorporate a presence on social media platforms relevant to the company, which could be leveraged to request support or broadcast information during a disaster or business interruption

  To understand more about how to develop a social media strategy and platforms best suited to your organization, read Groundswell and consult Forrester's Social Technographics Tool.

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