Many companies have taken their first steps towards using social business tools to engage better with their employees. Some have created customers communities or social CRM networks. Others have created social networks to communicate more effectively with their suppliers and partners. But surprisingly little attention is typically paid to the question of how all these social networks relate to each other. Many of the employees on the internal company social network are also likely to want to interact with customers on an external network. Others will need to communicate with partners and suppliers. Some of the content created on one network is likely to need to be posted on at least one of the others. So building each of these networks in isolation will only perpetuate the barriers that many organisations have between their internal and external communication.
Some business relationships between two companies are so extensive that they may require a dedicated social network purely for private collaboration between the two parties. This might apply between a company and its customer, or a company and its supplier. Each of these private networks also form part of the social ecosystem.
So the complete social enterprise ecosystem is a series of connected networks, with overlaps of members and content.
While a single network addressing employees, customers, partners and suppliers sounds attractive due to the efficiency costs of managing a single network, this compromises the ability to serve each audience well, as the network needs to address each type of user equally. Entirely separate networks for each audience is an equally poor solution.
Not only does the ecosystem need to allow overlapping, connected networks, it needs the tools to:
Clearvale provides the platform to create your own social enterprise ecosystem. Even if you are considering only a single network now, establishing the framework for a social enterprise ecosystem at the start will save redesign and rework later on.