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Recruiting allies as part of the enterprise social media strategy

Jack Loo | July 23, 2012
Participants at the CIO Workshop find out how having friends can help during a crisis management.

Having a pool of loyal and friendly influencers is an important aspect of an enterprise social media strategy, according to Kelly Choo, co-founder, Brandtology, a research and intelligence startup based in Singapore.

Choo was referring to a recent controversy in the Hong Kong social media scene which involved fashion label Dolce & Gabbana and retail mall operator Harbour City. An incident with a shopper and a security guard from the Dolce & Gabbana store in Harbour City led to numerous conspiracy theories that spread throughout social media sites.

It would have been much worse, but several influencers in the Hong Kong social media scene chose not to join in the debate, said Choo.

Choo is also the vice president business, development & strategy at Brandtology. He was speaking at the CIO Workshop organised by Accenture and Information Technology Management Association (ITMA) on Tuesday 17 July in Singapore.

Another potential trouble scenario was that a company's rivals might seek to undermine its reputation by creating multiple fake social media accounts and post negative comments.

"This is where the community of friendly influencers can come in handy to help defend the company," said Choo. "As a company, there are limitations to what you can say," he added.

Deploying social media

A panel discussion at the CIO Workshop also touched on the issue of social media in enterprise. The panel featured Alan Goh, CIO of Singapore telco M1, Tan Hoon Chiang, CIO of National Institute of Education, Gavin Michael, chief technology innovation officer, Accenture, and Gerald Chai, senior client partner, technology, office managing director, executive recruiter Korn/Ferry Singapore. The session was moderated by Leong Mun Kew, deputy director, Institute of Systems Science, National University of Singapore.

Responding to a question on how the panel is employing social media within the participants' organisations, M1's Goh shared how his company is starting to use social media. "We use it as a medium to interact with our customers," he said. Besides conversations with customers, the telco also uses social media to broadcast various messages including promotions.

In Korn/Ferry, the firm uses a variety of social media platforms to help keep in touch with its job candidates, said Chai, while in the National Institute of Education, Tan revealed that students and teachers use social media to provide feedback to the agency's initiatives. "This gives us perspective on our training efforts," said Tan.

Social media is widely used within Accenture, according to Michael. The vendor uses a range of systems from video to collaboration tools.

The social media journey is not all smooth sailing, said M1's Goh. There are some instances where it made better sense not to control the conversation. "Sometimes tackling bad comments might make things worse," he added. One solution would be to let things cool down.

 

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