corporate image I’ve been talking with a number of people in differing areas of companies while drumming up consulting or contract gigs, and something is becoming very apparent.  While there is a huge amount of misunderstanding regarding social media, there is also a growing interest in online professional networking.

What intrigues me is how the growing interest in social networking can’t address the biggest problem facing these tools in corporate settings.  That is, the need to provide a business case that is benefited by these tools and technologies.  Fine, sure, yeah, I know that there are many business situations that simply do not require new ways to do their jobs, but there are many other situations that do.

Communication is one of the obvious ones, but I remember a number of individuals who could not look past the continuing arguments of “its a time waster” or “it’s a security hole”.  Sure, they can be that – but no worse than email.  This problem and these arguments are as old as technology itself.  No matter what the new idea/tool/concept is, it requires a new generation to prove it’s worth.

What we need to do to help foster corporate uptake of social media is to provide learning opportunities.  This might be by sending articles addressing the professional and productivity aspects to key decision makers.  It may also be done by providing “brown bag” lunches with an agenda of exploring online and hosted social tools.  One could also use themselves as an example of how to use social media to leverage their personal brand within an organization – I think many of us are already doing that.

At any rate, I’m going to continue to look for those opportunities for companies to leverage new media/social media tools to their advantage.

Have you discovered innovative uses for social media in your organization?

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