Recently I came across Social Media #FAIL Indian Software Companies from the NASSCOM India Leadership Blog and once again it’s highlighting an extremely important aspect of Social Media – of being social. Of course the article was focusing on the Indian market scenario particularly around Indian IT industry, but having said that, I think we can safely assume that we have seen a similar pattern across industries and geographies.
With the advent of a host of social media sites and the topic shooting to popularity, most people and organizations seem to feel that by having, just a presence on social media sites, one can sit back and reap its benefits. When in reality just by creating a twitter profile or searching for candidate profiles on LinkedIn may not bring them the returns on social technologies. It surely is the first step in the right direction, but assuming that one could see startling results with just that, will be foolish. As we say ‘What goes around comes around’ – expect very little returns (or responses) from the social technologies if you are not willing to share or participate. It’s time we realize social media is about being social – contribution, conversation, interaction, engagement (and the likes) with your employees, customers, or partners is what will bring benefits and remember the social technologies are only the enablers!
Another point the above article also brings out (and I am glad) is that, it’s not about using the most “hyped” social media site and more so – one size definitely doesn’t fit all. Each tool has a specific objective of existence and though they seem user-friendly & popular, understanding their application in real-life business scenarios is equally difficult & important. There is a lot that goes into, before one starts implementing and using these tools. It really isn’t another dot-com-bubble-kinds (that will go bust) that we are seeing so many strategy/consulting firms trying to help organizations in understanding how they can leverage from social media. Basics like knowing your pain-points, finding the best fit solution and customizing it to solve your real-life problem is the real deal. We really need to have a methodology / framework that will help in solving the business issues using social technologies, be it internal employee collaboration, interacting with customers or maintaining relationship with business partners. We all know this is still a fairly new playground for most of us (consulting firms & their prospective clients) and that makes it all the more important to have the fundamentals set right because each of us have a role to play. This just re-emphasizes the huge potential and opportunity for social business consulting & strategy practice and particularly the need for a formal approach and framework guiding social business engagements has, in today’s world.
So, in conclusion – we just have to get social, in the real sense!

Nikhil Nulkar is a knowledge management consultant within Capgemini and is passionate about web2.0, specifically in enterprise2.0 & social media. Want to know what he is up to? Follow him on Twitter