Centres of excellence for social media?

Yesterday I spoke on a panel at the Share This Live social media conference at Microsoft, UK in London (pictured) and one of the topics I was asked about by a delegate after speaking was the role of IC pros when it comes to social media and whether there were any resources he could access.

panelRegular readers of my blog will know that I have written about this numerous times including how IC pros can be sociable and you’re in the right place to see my collation of 300+ social media policies and guidelines and 220 case studies of internal social media use.

I’ve also published my own research into how internal comms pros use social media, highlighted digital skills gaps and featured guest articles from 70 comms pros, many of which touch on this topic.

I’ll be publishing an article about Share This Live next week and am always keen to hear from readers regarding the topics you’d like me to write about. If you have an idea, do let me know.

Centres of excellence
This morning I discovered an article that I recommend reading if you’re asking questions like: How can my company equip employees to use social media, how do we support and enable our workforce to know what we expect when it comes to internal social media/enterprise social networks and who should ‘own’ it?

It was published by Dion Hinchcliffe, Senior Strategy Officer at Dachis Group and looks at the rise of organisations establishing centres of excellence (CoE) to “drive improved results, consistency and economies of scale.”

The article examined the trend for companies to create CoE that support the whole organisation with dedicated staff and resources to ‘establish consistent guidelines, unify social tools and platforms where it makes sense, collect techniques and best practice and provide education.” This is instead of creating a new social media department. From reading the description through, the key point is around establishing a central monitoring and dispatch capability to respond and engage in social media at scale.

What’s your view on that? Have you seen people doing this?

I found this video online recently featuring CEO of O2, Ronan Dunne @ronandunneO2 discussing how and why he uses Twitter. O2 provide fixed, broadband and mobile services in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Together, they are Telefónica Europe, but are more commonly known as O2.

I thought I’d highlight the short clip here because he says some excellent points, especially the fact all employees have a voice and talk about the brand daily, and how social media is managed in their organisation:


Ronan mentioned hub and spoke, if this is new to you, check out this research from Altimeter Group from a few years back (2010) about formations in business.

Talking of Altimeter Group, I’m going to the #b2bhuddle in London tonight and will be hearing Brian Solis @briansolis speaking. Regular readers will recognise his name, not least because I wrote about the Conversation Prism last week. I will of course let you know how it goes, I mentioned his latest book What’s The Future of Business in a recent column on Maximising Social Business.

Answerable to the business

The Dachis Group article states: “Since tactical social media initiatives are still quite common, organisations are finding that company-related social media activity is taking place across a larger and larger swath of functions in burgeoning social businesses. As this happens, the need is felt to make social media more coherent, less duplicative, more answerable to the business, and better organised and managed.

“Not only is it extremely common to find at least two major social media efforts in most enterprises today (usually a set of social marketing and CRM initiatives that is externally facing and a social collaboration effort that is inwardly focused), but there is often multiple instances in of each, especially in larger and geographically distributed firms and conglomerates.”

One point that particualarly struck me was around senior executives “moving beyond asking why they should invest in social media (most organisations are clearly doing so today), but rather how they can establish better organisation, discipline, and cost effectiveness, while still broadly unleashing the social capabilities of their organisations.”

Is that your experience in your company?

There is also a maturity model for centres of excellence that you can see below from the article. Do have a look to read the whole piece in context and to go through the key aspects that most companies have to be aware of when building a social media centre of excellence.

What happens in your organisation? Do you have a centre of excellence? Would you consider setting one up?

You’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC to share your views.


maturity model


Post author: Rachel Miller

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How can we help?

All Things IC helps practitioners around the globe increase their knowledge of internal communication.

There’s a variety of ways we can support you including trainingconsultancy and mentoring to boost your skills and confidence.

Or visit the shop to see everything we offer.

Who has hired All Things IC?

Clients say working with All Things IC leaves them feeling inspired, motivated, full of ideas and ready to turn plans into action.

We’re proud to have been invited to work with, and advise, some of the world’s leading brands.

Get in touch...

Would you like to work with All Things IC? Do get in touch below. Please note we only accept guest post ideas from in-house IC pros who have read the blogging guidelines.

Asking for advertising, back links or pitching services? We do not offer these and will not reply. Thank you.