Personal-use social media tools require additional capabilities to be truly effective in the Enterprise. The capabilities can be split into five groupings:

Branded as You: Whether you’re creating a new on-line community using social media or integrating social media capabilities into your existing web properties, you need to maintain your corporate brand image. Enterprise Social Media tools need to be highly configurable so they can match brand standards and character as either standalone communities or blended into your web properties. Click here to see how Cannondale has seamlessly used Awareness to create an online community that works for their brand.

Customized for Your Community Members. Every community has different goals and preferences. A true Enterprise Social Media Platform gives the customer the choice of how to best leverage Web 2.0 technologies to fulfill the unique needs of the communities they serve. Depending on the business need, it may be appropriate to deploy a blog, a wiki, a discussion group, video or photo sharing, etc. Some users may want to go directly to a new online community while others may prefer to write emails that automatically re-appear as social media entries (e.g., in a blog or a wiki). Other times it may be appropriate to seamlessly blend Web 2.0 technologies into your own Web properties. Click here to see how the Discovery Channel integrated Awareness profiles with their flash site to allow individuals to interact with their Koppel on Discovery special report on Cancer.

Power and Control for Your Community Administrators. Enterprise Social Media provides an unprecedented ability for employees, customers, prospects, and partners to generate content. To allow this freedom, particularly in public-facing sites, there needs to be a set of controls so administrators can manage the community without hindering the users’ enthusiasm to generate content. Administrators need to be able to control who can post, control who can read posts, decide what is automatically approved versus what needs to authorized, modify postings, and more.

Integrated Into Your Enterprise IT environment. An Enterprise Social Media solution needs to satisfy all the needs of an enterprise IT environment by providing security, performance, reliability, integration with single sign-on and identity management systems, versioning and compliance, auditing, backup/recovery, and more.

A common approach to all forms of social media. Organizations have learned to avoid silos of information in their IT environments. However, if a corporation deploys separate tools for each form of social media (e.g., blogs, wikis, discussion groups, etc.) they will create disparate islands of information that later will have to be somehow integrated. A common approach to all forms of social media allows an organization to employ the most appropriate form of social media for each business need with the assurance of knowing that the content is re-purposable to any other form. In this mode, a user can generate content in one participation style (e.g., a blog) that later appears in another participation style (e.g., a wiki or a discussion group) . This maximizes the value of the user-generated content and avoids any silos of information.

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The Forrester Wave: Blogging Platforms, Q2 2006. Forrester Research. June 2006.