|A segment of a social network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
However, many feel that getting an organization ready internally should be the first step to being a true "social business" I also indeed believed that. Social can scale only if employees are engaged and connected to each other and external stakeholders.
However, the reality in most organizations is that the budget of the external facing groups is much higher. Social there also shows more immediate benefits and benchmarking is easy (however can get misleading)
So if there is budget available and executive sponsorship then an organization should focus on getting internally ready and externally focused at the same time. However for the vast majority of organizations the "social competencies" would be learned by folks in marketing, sales, PR, customer support and then travel to the other parts of the organization.
This is not to advise HR and other people in organizations not to focus on social - far from it. But to recognize that once top management understands the value of social media they would expect that other groups then leverage the tools for their business ends.
However there are differences. Externally social media campaigns can be done again and again to get across to more and more customers/fans. However when launching a social initiative internally, it would need to be successful in a far smaller group and would need to be designed to succeed.
More thoughts on how to do that in the coming posts.