IBM: Companies facing social media conundrum

The company's study shows that many businesses are embracing social media tools, but to what end?

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IBM goes on to say that simply establishing a social media footprint does not guarantee an active, vibrant community. The company suggests four critical activities that can help make customer communities successful:

  1. A governance process to oversee the community's operation
  2. Recruitment, training and ongoing development of community moderators
  3. The development of a critical mass of external participants to influence the influencers and to promote the community
  4. The ability to quickly react to opportunities and challenges presented by customers, while seizing upon new business opportunities

All of this is important as social media will become more of a key enterprise technology. Gartner recently said that in the next three years, many companies are establishing social media as a discipline. Gartner predicts that in three years, 10 organizations will each spend more than $1 billion on social media.

"Social computing is moving from being just on the outside of the organization to being at the core of business operations," said Peter Sondergaard, Gartner senior vice president and global head of research. "It is changing the fundamentals of management: how you establish a sense of purpose and motivate people to act. Social computing will move organizations from hierarchical structures and defined teams to communities that can cross any organizational boundary."

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