Another paper for you. I know how you love them. Correction: I know that you know how much the C-level execs expect you to come up with the stats and ‘authoritative’ quotes. So here ya go, from IDC:

Typical Reason Why Companies Deploy Social Networks

Customer
•Increase Web traffic with persistent engagement
•Drive marketing leverage by provoking customer-to-customer communication and viral marketing
•Gather real-time input from customers on their needs and wants
•Provide peer-to-peer customer support (lowering customer support costs)
•Increase brand awareness and loyalty
•Solicit customer-driven innovation

Employee
•Enhance teamwork
•Discover new ideas and accelerate innovation
•Encourage cross-functional inputs to drive better decision making
•Create a company culture of sharing and learning
•Increase communication by leveraging intraemployee communications to a broader audience
•Increase retention and connection between the company and employees

Partner (channel partners, developers, consultants)
•Coordinate communications, accelerating cross-company performance
•Increase sales through real-time market intelligence and collaboration
•Encourage co innovation to better serve joint customers and markets
•Create an interdependent ecosystem of partners that drives increased revenue for all participants.

Again, there’s better papers around – and I had to be Miss No-one from Nowhere again to sign up for a copy – and it’s hard to find the meat. You really want the McKinsey reports with stats like “technical support costs drop to 1/5th with a peer to peer support network”, I guess. Ah well, this is can be a supplement – and ignore the HiveLive advertorials throughout. 🙂