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Over the upcoming weeks, I will give some insights on the pitfalls and remedies in the context of introducing and using social media within a company. This part deals with requirements and needed mind-sets.

Blogs and social networks have a mixed reputation in a corporate context. On the one hand, they gain importance besides the ‘traditional’ outgoing channels like employer branding and social marketing because the potential to use them for internal communication and collaboration is more and more recognized. On the other hand, the concept of social media within a company fulfills all characteristics of a hype:  The offered software solutions are advertised with so many positive characteristics that it seems to be too good to be true. Often, a paradise of peaceful and effective collaboration and communication is promised. Many companies introduced social media to the workplace just because they have felt the need to be part of such a positive movement.

In such cases, the introduction of social media with the aim to replace or to extend the existing collaboration or communication habits in a company with social media channels did not go as well as hoped.  This is due to the fact, that the starting conditions in the company were not thoroughly analyzed and achievements and goals were not clear enough defined prior to introducing social media.

Some companies might tell you, that they have already introduced Wikis successfully and that introducing blogs and social communication cannot be that hard either. In reality, there is a difference between setting up and using a Wiki, and successfully introducing blogs and social communication. This is because of the different kinds of content which are addressed: Since Wikis are more or less static in their content and mono-directional in their communication channel, blogs and other social media channels live from a dynamic content and a bi-directional, collaborative communication channel.  This means, that just setting up the technical possibility of using a blog and other social media channels will not work if not other prerequisites have been set in place.

What these requirements are will be described in the next blog post!