Enterprise Social Networks: Best Buy Blue Shirt

A little behind-the-firewall snippet: Best Buy (like Harvey Norman’s only bigger, in the USA?) have built a social network for internal use. I loved this comment:

Listen, Provide, Learn

Getting contributions from your community and encouraging interaction are critical elements of an internal corporate Web site. If people don’t use the site, you have a corporate platform that, according to Bendt, “sucks.”

After the first version of the BlueShirt Nation social platform, as it was called, Bendt and Koelling were told by a handful of beta users that it needed some work. Koelling was a bit more descriptive: “They said it was ugly, dry, and it’s boring.”

Bendt said they learned that if you want people to use a “social” site, you need to be open to their participation in building the site. You see, social sites are not about the people or company that builds the site; they are completely about the people who are intended to use them.

The site was built in Drupal.

If you build your social network behind the firewall first, and let your staff loose on it, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. And lets face it, if you can’t get your employees using it, when it’s of direct benefit to their day to day working environment, don’t kid yourself that the customer is going to find it compelling.

Um you are not thinking of two separate networks are you? One for staff and one for customers? *laughs* Good, you better not be!

If you were, have a read of Gonzo Marketing by Christopher Locke. Mr ClueTrain Manifesto – or one of ’em. He writes (so much better than I) all the reasons why you need to bring down the fourth wall and make the insides transparent to the outside. Customers, staff, consumers, prosumers, co-creators. The book is seven years old now, but still so very worth the read. I’ll lend you my copy if you want. 😀 Or if you prefer to media- snack and do content grabs at Dymocks or Borders, go to page 34 -41 “Ripping out the Wall” with some naff Pink Floyd subtitle. He gives a good example of how Ford Motor could set up an enterprise community with customers included, that I think you’d enjoy.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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