Maximizing Facebook in Companies

Got my beeehind smacked (nicely) by Ross Hill who pointed out that some companies are using Facebook, not blocking it.

In a lecture at uni last week Peter Williams from Deloitte’s said they have a company network on facebook with thousands of members. They use it regularly and even release their own applications on facebook for internal use. Might be worth looking at the other side, what companies DO use facebook?

He’s quite right. I guess I just get caught up in the “oh every company has a MySpace page but they still block access” generalisation.

I found some bits and bobs on Deloittes and Facebook:

Dedicated professionals and students came together at Deloitte’s student networking event at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Wednesday afternoon. This event, mainly targeting recent graduates and current college students, was put together by various employees and student interns at Deloitte, and was promoted well through Deloitte’s facebook account!

There are 14,000 and rising members on the Deloitte Facebook network.

I mentioned Duncan Riley’s Techcrunch piece, on Telstra blocking Facebook, in another post – note the Siemen’s connection to Facebook.

Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, has banned its approximately 49,000 employees from using Facebook.

As Cameron Reilly at G’Day World puts it, “This would be a retarded move for ANY company, let alone a company that is trying to position itself as a company that “gets” online.”

The move is strange given the growing worldwide popularity of Facebook as a corporate tool. German company and international electronics powerhouse Siemens already has 6000 employees using Facebook, with plans to deliver exclusive Facebook apps for employee use in the future. According to Robert Scoble, Facebook could well become a substitute for Siemen’s corporate intranet. Facebook is also growing in popularity as a business networking tool.

Good ol’ shy, retiring, quiet Cameron. 😛

What Australian companies are making a concerted effort to work with Facebook? I don’t mean spam pages to push their products and services, like a MySpace-style advertising/placeholder page, but a real effort to acknowledge their employees as members of social networks ?

Sheesh now I have to try and change my Facebook group name and agenda around. Breaking the first rule of Social Network: Purpose. Ah well. What’s more helpful – a list of companies that don’t engage in social networking combined with a list of the customer discussions that they are not part of? Or one’s that do engage, and are part of the discussion, if you know what I mean? 🙂

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.

3 thoughts on “Maximizing Facebook in Companies

  1. I’d hazard the the companies allowing Facebook (and other social computing tools) in Australia are still in the minority, despite Ross’ admonishment. Deloitte is remarkably forward thinking (and also NOT Australian). In fact all of those you mention allowing the use of social tools aren’t Australian.

    Sure, social tools are all over the place in small startups and the web industry, but take a look at large organisations and I can pretty much assure you (and Ross) that the fear around social computing is so thick you can cut the air in any IT management meeting with a knife. And they’ll be blocked as a matter of course. The Australian ran a cover story in its IT section a few weeks back with a pretty strong confirmation of this.

    So, social computing tools in multinationals (IBM, KPMG, Deloitte, Seimens, etc.), absolutely yes. In homegrown large companies, not so much. The ABC and Telstra may be breaking ground in this space, although I’m not entirely familiar with their efforts inside the wall.

  2. Laurel…so humble.
    I love Cameron’s assessment.
    Seems a company should be immersing its employees in this stuff if they are attempting to be a market leader in new social media.
    Big ups to the companies who recognise this (though they are few and far between in Australia _ you just have to see how few co.’s have a corporate blog in OZ).

  3. Hi, I am the Peter Williams mentioned in the post. Just to correct Stephen Collins comment that Deloitte is not Australian. Deloitte is a multinational firm but each country sets it policy around what we use. We have built two apps for Facebook in Australia. One being iRipple and the other Friendly Search (not on the app list yet but available @ http://apps.facebook.com/friendlysearch/

    We run an innovation program here much of which is focused on leveraging tools like wikis, social networks etc for business and we dont have to go to global for permission, it is being done by our people in Australia

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