Social media has changed the way we communicate with one another; it has created a new channel by which people come together to share content and experiences regarding diverse subject matters. In KM many organizations have already began to explore the impact of social media in order to enhance KM tools and to create a new generation of dynamic learning contexts. This seems to be a natural response to the way we are now communicating with one another.
Not a day goes by when the information shared though social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Foursquare, increases abruptly. People are plugged in wherever they go. Regardless of the content which is shared in these networks, let us imagine for a moment that people are establishing rich connections with other people and are forming communities. Any content posted has a strong chance of becoming viral and people may add value to that content as they receive it. They can add their comments and share ideas allowing others to obtain this insight and make more intelligent decisions. This is just the beginning.
Every 20 minutes over one million links are shared in Facebook and right now it has over 1.06 billion users. Since the dawn of Twitter more than 163 billion tweets have shared. 625,000 people join google + everyday. Over 5 million photos are shared through instagram.
These are just some statistics that show the growing impact of social media. For KM this is important since social media is spearheading a cultural change. The human algorithm is becoming more complex as it´s not longer enough for us to meet face to face; now we need to maintain a solid digital presence and create distribution networks in order to satisfy some of our general needs: affection, esteem, self-actualization, love/belonging etc.
This is part of the connected culture that KM must understand in order to pave the way for future initiatives. We must also take into consideration The Y generation also known as the millennial generation. It is the fastest growing segment of the workforce. As social media guru Brian Solis mentioned, “it´s the first generation to seemingly possess digital prowess as part of their DNA”. ¿How well do you know Gen Y in your organization? Understanding their learning and communication styles will allow you to create a much more engaging KM journey for them. Give them tools that they already understand and are accustomed to. They will embrace them without hesitation. ¿Have your ever wondered why Yammer is such a successful business platform? Check out the following videos contributed by Manhattan Associates that shows how Yammer embraces the Knowledge capture and sharing issue.
I also remember Deloitte´s case study regarding Yammer in last year´s APQC´s Knowledge Management conference. It was this particular presentation that motivated me to try out Yammer.
I kicked off by using Yammer as the elearning platform at office. Yes, I basically replaced the Learning Management System by a social network and linked all the class contents into a Yammer group created specifically for that class. The results were impressive. Students improved their participation rate by almost 60%. I didn´t change the content. I just provided them with a different context where they could interact in a similar way to that of facebook and other social networks. This got me thinking: ¿How else can we unleash the power of social media so that KM may benefit from it?. This is a question that will force us to reshape the way we create KM tools and context. In future blogs I shall explore the impact of social media tools in KM and provide key lessons learned.
Even the rules of engagement in social media are similar to those of Communities of Practice. Check out the following article by Brian Solis regarding social media engament rules.
I recently found the following the following infographic that shows all the available social media tools and their purpose. ¿Find similarities with KM? ¿which ones are you applying at office? Check them out and see what works best.
Remember: You can´t force knowledge sharing. But what you can do is adapt the tools that KM has to offer in order to make it a more natural and fluent process.