The Secret Business of Social Networking. Lee Hopkins at the AHRI National Convention

Lee Hopkins- Director of Buzz
Check out his blog

Lee Hopkins

“Lee Hopkins is a management psychologist with over 20 years experience of helping businesses communicate better for better business results. An internationally sought-after speaker, Lee combines his passion for employee and online business communication with his dynamic presentation skills to create ‘once seen, never forgotten’ live experiences.”

Scepticism still surrounds the use of social networking sites at work for many organisations. Can this new technology be tapped to achieve business outcomes and what are the potential positive and negative implications for organisations?

I’m fairly engrossed in the Social media scene already (I’m a member of the Social Media Club Sydney) so Lee’s presentation was introductory for me, but judging from the amount of questions and engagement he had from the HR professionals in the room- this is an area that needs to be explored much further.

Lee argues that social networking is now much bigger than email- its one of the largest ways that we get information. However it’s important to follow the Social media ethos; which is about trust, transparency and accountability. Gone are the days when companies could not admit mistakes- social media has actually encouraged companies to come forward and concede errors in the interest of being transparent and accountable.

See an example here

He then illustrated the power of social media by playing us a clip of an AOL customer trying to cancel his account. The customer had to wait on hold for more than 15 minutes, and then asks to cancel the account. It’s a frustrating call to listen to as the customer repeatedly says “cancel the account” and “I don’t know to make this any clearer”. The AOL rep refuses to budge and even asks to speak with the customer’s father even though the customer is 30 years old.

The customer then put the call on his blog, and it went viral. Due to its popularity, the customer was interviewed by many television and radio stations including CNBC. To date, it has had more than 250, 000 views on YouTube.

Lee also spoke a bit about Second Life- which to be honest I’m not a huge fan of.

According to their website: “Second Life is a free online virtual world imagined and created by its Residents. From the moment you enter Second Life, you’ll discover a fast-growing digital world filled with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity.”

Many organisations have already jumped onto Second Life including Xerox and IBM. They use it hold ‘virtual’ meetings, conferences, training sessions and they even simulate business situations and build product prototypes.

You might want to read more on this by checking out the IBM case study.

Overall the key message was that Social Media isn’t something companies should rush into. It’s important to conduct a risk analysis, develop clear policies, and ensure that your employees are trained.

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Filed under AHRI National Convention, Social Media/Technology

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