How much is too much on Social Media? As India Inc. gears up to harness the power of social networking for business benefit, the key debate that is raging among CIO’s already grappling with Cloud Computing is: What is it that we should be doing as a corporate? The various interactions I have had over the last few weeks, have mirrored the observations made by @ishani the author in this article in The Economic Times.
My views on the subject borders on likening social networking to a massive Serendipity engine. And it’s not just Google powered, it’s in the way people seek you out on LinkedIn, it’s in the way content gets crowdsourced on twitter, and trending topics produce the big news breaks of the day, and finally what you end up doing after having had your fill of snooping into people’s photo albums on Facebook and playing enough Zynga games i.e. farmville et al.
And while corporates grapple with how to update their NDA policies to include Corporate Social Networking, employees also need to figure out how much of their personality they can bring into the their corporate jobs, and personal social networking in corporate space.
A few great examples such as @anandmahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, of India’s Mahindra Group and @padmashree, Cisco CTO show the way. Anand Mahindra uses his twitter timeline bridging his role as his brand’s ambassador in providing a customer feedback response channel and being an employee relations champion for his newly acquired global footprint via IT major Satyam. Cisco CTO, @Padmashree, adds in her own creative, personal touch to the above roles, again brand ambassador and employee relations champion, via her own haiku verse peppered in with her culinary exploits and travels, with a garnish of outdoor-sy weekend experiences.
So where do the CIO’s draw the line? and how should the talent pool behave. Even as the rules evolve, and they sure are, check out this live document from Intel’s website . and the para I like most is ” If it gives you pause, pause. If you’re about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off and hit ‘send.’ Take a minute to review these guidelines and try to figure out what’s bothering you, then fix it. If you’re still unsure, you might want to discuss it with your manager or legal representative. Ultimately, what you publish is yours—as is the responsibility. So be sure.”
That said, more and more professionals and individuals on social networks are defining their identities, and leveraging their unique mix of interests, knowledge, and passions to model their personal brand within the corporate brand framework they work in. Does that mean the days of ‘hate boss’ updates on YouTube and Facebook are over as maturity dawns, and is that bringing more and more corporates into allowing access to social media in the workplace. That’s a question that’s still out in the clouds!