How do you Implement an Internal Social Network?

by Joe on May 5, 2008

I loved Jeremiah Owang’s Post about implementing a social network, i wanted to A. catelogue it someplace i could find it easily, and B. share it all with you!  So here it is. Thanks Jeremiah for your wisdom… Also the book Groundswell helps expand on these points as well, so if you want more info, check that out. 

Best Buy’s social media push to become the Enterprise 2.0 company of the year seems to be paying big rewards.  BlueShirt Nation, aptly named based on the blue shirts of store employees, is Best Buy’s social network that start off with the hope of becoming a place where execs could learn about marketing from employees.

Best Buy was able to get tangible and measureable results from the deployment of social media within the company.

  • Used the enterprise social network to increase enrollment in the 401(k) plan by through a video contest.
  • Employee turnover dropped drastically among the employees using the social network. Turnover fell from double digits to 8%.
  • Quick feedback from employees helped management to steer policy around employee desires.
  • Less employee turnover is key for maintaining employee productivity levels high

How do you implement an Internal Social Network?

  1. Start with a discussion about your understanding of social media tool’s productivity enhancement effect on the enterprise. (A list of questions for discussion, and the projected increase in spend on social networks)
  2. Discuss your goals and intent. Best Buy provides some excellent examples of good measurable goals. Employee retention. Knowledge sharing.  Communication outlet. Management insight. Product-Idea generation. Choose some goals, and measure it! Measure, measure, measure!
  3. Discuss which platform to use to engage your community. There are many free social media platforms, and there are many other paid services.  Chris Brogan does a great job explaining the how to and the what to use when in the social media starting point.
  4. Hire a community manager. No, not a techy type to program the thing, just someone who is a specialist in engaging the community, and preferably knows something about your company and employees. 
  5. Implement. Put it out there and engage the community. Trust them, encourage them to use the new productivity tools responsibly, heck you hired them, you trust them enough with your company’s assets, you should trust them enough with to speak with respect and respect the company’s time.
  6. Assess.  Monitor your progress against your goals, and design new ones after hitting the previous goals.  Enjoy the conversation!

Best Buy did it!  Why not you?! Enterprise 2.0 is the next large wave in productivity enhancements in the work place. How do you see them influencing your work place?


I loved this post! What a great idea for companies. It gives employees another outlet and way to help them ‘fit in’ and find a home within that organization.

An elementary teacher I observed in slps had the most well-managed classroom I’ve ever seen. She said she had devoted 2 weeks in the fall to classroom culture (leaning to work together, building trust, discussing expectations, etc.). It’s not virtual but it’s a similar idea.

by Hannah on May 6, 2008 at 2:04 am. Reply #

Thanks for commenting on my blog. That is very interesting that a teacher would spend two weeks devoted to teaching students skills that they will use for the rest of their life, vs what the capital of Congo is. Makes sense to me! If only there was a way for that teacher to set that up for her students to interact in before school started and that way it would only take 1 week vs 2!

by Joe Budde Jr. on May 6, 2008 at 10:24 am. Reply #

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