Going social isn’t just about using enterprise social media

Enterprise social trends are hitting a wall as companies face a simple problem – what happens when employees don’t bother to use the social media tools we buy? Investing in social media does not make a company a social organization. Instead, finding ways to integrate social functionality into day-to-day processes enables users to collaborate using social methodologies. Becoming social in this way is easier with business process management software in place, as BPM can serve as a centralized hub for social process interaction and automate the tasks that get in the way of intuitive communication.

A recent report from The Wall Street Journal emphasized the current social challenges facing businesses by pointing out that enterprise social media solutions are having a difficult time garnering user attention.

The problem with social media-focused strategies
Philipp Karcher, analyst for Forrester Research, told the news source that enterprise social media investments are still going to increase on an annual basis moving forward, but not at the same pace or in the same way as earlier projections anticipated. Instead, the entire social sector is set to shift considerable as it matures. Karcher explained that only 39 percent of respondents to a recent poll of enterprise employees overseeing social initiatives are measuring the business impact of their social platforms. At the same time, just 12 percent of those polled said they are analyzing the impact of social systems on sales and revenues and 55 percent of respondents are still worried about employees actually using enterprise social tools consistently.

Vanessa Thompson, an analyst for IDC, told The Wall Street Journal that the declining projections for enterprise social software comes as more organizations realize that discreet solutions are not the answer. Dedicated social media tools may be helpful, but the future is in social tools that are interwoven with applications, services and processes, not functioning as a separate entity.

Using BPM to work toward the future
Social BPM solutions can enable businesses to take the core social media functionality they are trying to achieve and integrate it into processes so that workers can seamlessly take advantage of social channels. In essence, an organization becomes social because the ease of use and flexibility enabled by social media tools are embedded into every phase of operations. Just implementing social media isn’t enough to transform a business. Building social and process frameworks together makes using social tools an organic part of operations, eliminating issues of use and activity and streamlining social functionality in the enterprise.