Posted by: charlestontelles | October 5, 2012

How Social Media fits in the Enterprise?


Before I start talking about social media strategies, I will summarize the theory in 3 phrases.

Social media is online community where people create personal profiles and share information with their friends and contacts. (Extracted from a INN346 QUT lecture)

My personal definition: online tools where people create their digital presence providing as much detail as they want to. Those tools allow people to connect other people and it’s not only people to content.

Within social networks, as in any other social circle, some people can be more influent than others. Gladwell suggests that there are three important types of people in social networks: Connectors (“social glue” they know and want to introduce you to everyone), Mavens (“information brokers” can’t wait to tell you about the best deal and give advice) and Salesmen (“evangelists” get you to act and convince you to buy)

Now it’s time to explore how Social Media fits in the Enterprise.


In my view the majority of outcomes from social media come from external sources. Contacting the customers/users, and in my opinion 3 process can easily benefit from social media:

1 – Recruiting: Don’t wait for CVs, go to market and offer the job to the right person. Also the company can check the qualification and previous experience of candidates.

2 – Marketing (sales): Helping sales, offering a new product, getting feedback about the product’s quality and usability.

3 – Supporting (post sales): post sale support, don’t only sell but keep the support active. Companies can use facebook groups or google+ groups. For example groups of users that owns a Sansung Galaxy III Android 3.2. And then users can support users. Stanley Milgram’s Small World Experiment would take place here.

Tools x Process

Tool Highlights Processes supported


 Easy to identify groups with similar interests. Companies looking for product’s feedback usually try contacting facebook groups. Also, people tend to participate in groups that share information about specific subjects. Ideal for product supporting strategy Supporting (post sales), Marketing (sales)


 Google strategy to compete with facebook. Actually, google has a previous product called orkut (in India and Brazil orkut is more famous then facebook). Supporting (post sales), Marketing (sales)


 If a picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth a thousand pictures. Make a nice presentation of your product and share it online. Marketing (sales)
Linkedin (This tool will be explored in our case study – Suncorp HR)
 Don’t wait for CVs, select good people that fit in the role and contact them offering an opportunity. That’s the market new trend. Recruiting

Is Pinterest worth bothering with? Is it going to be as big as Facebook? Here’s a newsflash: it already beats Facebook for the number of purchasing customers it sends to retail sites, according to a recent Social Shopping 2012 survey. Marketing (sales)


1)    Verify where your target is (map the online social network structure of your business)

2)    Keep someone dedicated to the social media. At least check and answer questions in a daily basis. If the company does not interact the credibility is down. This person should also moderate the discussion and filter inappropriate comments (based on internal policy)

3)    Identify people having high influence and reward than (that can guarantee the viral propagation)

Recruitment process improvement for Suncorp HR:

 Currently, Suncorp HR is not exploring all the potential of linkedin, facebook and google+ in their recruitment process. Therefore we are proposing some strategies to improve that:

How to map out the social media structure to the target market (in that case the target market are future Suncorp employees)?

  • Select one employee within HR department to dedicate 2 hours per day filtering people in 3 major backgrounds using LinkedIn search engine (e.g. IT, car insurance and investments). Contact that people and add them as part of Suncorp HR department network.
  • If a new role is available, Suncorp HR already has a pre filtered list of possible candidates. So, they can contact them and offer the opportunity. That should reduce the time to get good people selected for interview.
  • In addition. Suncorp can use facebook and google+ to check more information about the candidates previously selected (e.g. hobbies, interests, etc)
  • All that mapping can be done automatically using online tools such as wildfire and trackur

How to identify, help activate and reward online connectors?

  • Filter current Suncorp employees in linkedIn and add them to Suncorp HR netword. Then check the connectivity between current employees and previous selected list. Ask the employees to recommend or not the people in the selected list. That can help Suncorp to prioritize interviews.
  • Suncorp already has an internal skills database. That contains information about all employees’ background. Our suggestion is a new information in that database to add the LinkedIn url (if applicable)
  • Maintain a counter for indication per employee and provide gifts for indication (e.g. cinema tickets, gift card, etc). The most active contributor (usually 1-3%) can even receive a bonus package (money reward)
  • To identify online connector they can use online tools such as keotag

How to systematically identify ways to propagate the viral contribution and referral factor?

  • The same HR employee responsible to dedicated 2 hour per day contacting people via linkedIn will be responsible to identity employees’ contribution and indications. Therefore the most active contributors will be identified. Those most active contributors will be asked to dedicate part time of their job to help HR and the working hours will be accounted to the HR project in parallel to their normal working hours.

Do you believe this strategy can help Suncorp HR to improve their current recruitment process?

Related posts from my team:

Edie –

Abdul –

Amanda –

Karen –




  1. Hello Charleston!

    As you mentioned in my blog post yesterday, I clicked on your blogs to check out the similarities you mentioned. It’s quite surprising to see the similarities but I guess great minds think alike right?

    Your post this week is extremely interesting and informative, after reading your blog I have noticed the main points I have missed and things that I didn’t take into consideration. Even though we discussed different organisations, the strategies are fairly similar and can be used not only by the Suncorp HR department but also by the Brisbane airport and many other organisations. I believe there are three main steps to maintain a business and have satisfied customers. Creating awareness, maintaining the content and giving back to the community.. I see that you have covered all of these steps, which is why I think if your strategy is taken up by any organisation they will have outstanding business and satisfied customers.

    Great post, keep it up 🙂

    Check out my blog at

    • Awesome.
      I totally agree. Although I am focusing the strategies to Suncorp HR, doesn’t mean other organization can’t use the same approach.
      Let’s continue sharing our ideas.

  2. Hi Charles,

    I have actually been contacted by a few companies off Linkedin previously, most noticeably “Accenture”. This strategy is already being utilized in some companies I imagine it is working very effectively, especially with LinkedIn’s ability to filter potential candidates based off their “Skills” which their other contacts can vouch for!

    • Hi Adam.
      Yes, this kind of contact from employers via linkedIn became very common today. That is exactly the approach I described where the companies now offer the role to specific candidates rather than offering the role to the public and waiting for a lot of CVs. That is indeed much more effective.

  3. Hi Charles,

    great post there, once again!

    I enjoyed reading this week’s post. Especially on one of your strategies. ‘Identify people having high influence’. I think that is especially important, if one intends to create a larger network of viewers/users, these people having the high influence, come into place. Imagine them blogging about you or your organisation, and all it takes is the word of mouth to spread the good things.

    • Hi Yvonne
      Indeed is crucial for a company to identify those people having high influence in the community. Gladwell call those people as connectors, and surely they will apply an important role in the community.

  4. Hi Charleston,

    I liked your definitions of the different types of roles people play in social media and also believe it is very true. I think power in social media comes from identifying which people are best suited to which role and targeting them directly. I don’t think it is necessarily only a matter of personality, it’s also about social status and type of employment among other things.

    The strategy you outlined is one I also to believe to be highly effective. Identify exactly who it is you should be targeting and hone in and once you have done so keep your finger on the pulse of everything emerging out of their web 2.0 interactions.

    When you identify the movers and shakers, reward them! Encourage them to to keep influencing people. I agree that it is vitally important to keep them doing what they are doing because they are the very life blood of a successful web 2.0 implementation. Without them stirring things up, influencing people, setting trends and sparking debate your enterprise 2.0 implementation will dwindle and die.

    As usual, great blog and please check mine out at – good luck with the assignment!

    • Hi Adam
      I am glad so see similar ideas. I believe the first step for companies is to agree they can’t be unaware about social media.
      In the end organizations have no choice, and their brand will be commented in the social network because customers talk about product and services with other customer, and they share experience and knowledge.
      Therefore, companies should always be mapping where their brand has been mentioned in the social media and allocate some time for at least a basic strategy. Indeed many of them will realize a great opportunity within the social network.

  5. Hi Charleston,

    Very informative post, I heard once that this kind of strategy using LinkeIn was starting to be used, but now I realize that actually companies are using it effectively, and every time more companies are using it.
    I think that your post cover all possibilities of external interaction through social media, after reading your blog post I think that this is definitely the recruitment future.

    Danny (

    • Hi Danny.
      Yes, I agree. Linkein has became a common tool used by recruiters. Indeed, I have seen this paradigm change, where employees has been contacted by recruiters and HR departmenes based on their linkein profile. In my view, candidates benefits from commodity and convinience of been contacted rather than applying for the job. And HR and recruiters benefits from having a candidate pool from their network, so they can work much more effectively based on the selection criteria.

  6. […] How social media fits in the enterprise by Charleston […]

  7. A really clear explanation of social media connectors, mavens and salesmen, I especially like the idea of utilising the internal network to both widen and focus the recruitment effort. How do you think this might be adapted for graduate recruitment which is about ‘volume’ recruitment rather than a search for specialised skills and experience? Do you think there is a variation on this strategy?

    • Hi Amanda.
      Thank you for your comments.
      Please correct me if I am wrong, my understanding of Graduate recruitment is, a company’s effort to hire new starters in the market place such as recent graduated or last year students. That effort will benefit students in their first job and also benefit the company hiring reasonable qualified people with a good value for money.
      Im my view many graduates haves already realized they need to use social media to “sell themselves”. Actually I’ve seen some blogs from students sharing their research portofolio, I’ve also seen linkedin profiles of students who share their academic experience rather than market place experience.
      Therefore, I believe Suncorp HR, for example, could use linkedin and filter people based on Academic profile (there is a specific subset of academic information in linkedin). In other words, same strategy (e.g. pool of candidates) but different profiles (e.g. graduate, senior, intermediate, etc).
      What do you think?

      • Wow, I hadn’t realised graduates were using linkedin so effectively. I naively assumed people who’d been working longer and built up their networks would be more likely to have a strong linkedin profile and network. ButI can see it makes sense that people who are more used to social networks (a younger demographic) would be quicker on the uptake of a platform like linkedin. I guess this is where measurement will really help with the strategy, if the hr department cast their net fairly widely through career days, facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc then they will be able to know which channels deliver the most value ie the best matched candidates for this type of volume recruitment. Good points!

  8. […] Investment (ROI) , benefits and training. As my classmates cover other parts in this strategy like HR and Enterprise Prospective, recruitment  . In this post, I will be focusing more on the training phase as an integral part of […]

  9. Hey Charles 🙂

    Absolutely great and practical strategies!
    But I just wonder how the responsible HR employee identify contribution and indication? Is it by quality (whether it leads to the final recruitment of target applicant) or quantity (depends on how many indications send to HR) ?

    I agree with your idea that don’t wait for CVs since most of the company suffer from desired candidates eventually choosing to work for competitor’s/other companies. I believe that organizations should be active in talents hunting by providing sound and attractive working environment and company’s culture.

    I noticed that Suncorp is rather passive (compare to other companies) in vying for applicants’ attention (not participate in LinkedIn’s job database and not active on showcasing organization’s value and culture).

    Your strategies indeed offer an efficient and effective insights for Suncorp’s HR department.

    • Also it will be more effective if we can improve viral contribution and viral distribution at the same time, thus can fully maximize the utilization of social networks. 🙂

    • Hi Edie
      Thank you for this question.
      Some organizations already have “indication programs”, like in my current job for example. Basically, you can receive a bonus per indication and it’s quantitative and qualitative at the same time. How it works? we only receive the bonus if the candidate is selected and “survive” the experience period (6 months). That has been working quite well.

  10. […] How Social Media Fits in the Enterprise? […]

  11. Your idea to use LinkedIn is very nice however, I think they shouldn’t just find and contact people when they didn’t need one. It is good to have connection to lots of people but in reality their profession and need change all the time. We want people who fit our need right now not the people who might fit our need three month ago. HR department is very busy so it might not be best to allocate resources to this. They can do it when they are free which will surely help.


    Prapat W.

    • Hi Paprat.
      Thank you for your comment.
      The idea of creating a pool of candidates in advance is to avoid the long selection period faced by companies. Many organizations have complained that the time to select good candidates is too long. Therefore, the HR can use linked in to form a network of possible contacts. Obviously, that network has to managed in a such way that the HR can always maitain a relevant pool of candidates. If you create a network and do not maintain it, the outcome will be useless.

      Does it make sense?

  12. Hi Charleston,
    Great read! I think your strategy has a good approach in ways to help Suncorp. I think you have highlighted the Web 2.0 tools nicely. I definitely agree that LinkedIn is the new trend, where employers are actively seeking potential employees. As you outlined in your post, I think it is important to reward the online connectors as it gives them an incentive.

    Check out my blog when you get a chance –

    • Hi Marayka
      Thanks for you comment. Our team is working hard to produce a good strategy to Suncorp HR. LinkeIn is definitely in our list of suggested tools.

  13. Nice blog and information my friend

    check my blog and give me your comment

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