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Content Management — What Companies Must Learn From Social Media

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about social media in a business context? I guess it's sales and marketing. Indeed, the number of people who mention Enterprise Content Management is super low. Probably the amount of people is equal to the polar bear population in the Antarctic.

This isn’t surprising since today’s social media platforms offer limitless possibilities for sales and marketing. Nevertheless, I think companies have to go one step further.

Instead of using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as marketing or customer communication tools, they must understand the core principle behind these platforms. Subsequently, companies have to adopt social media concepts to their internal content management.

Social Media And Enterprise Content Management? What The Heck Is He Talking About?

Here’s a little backstory before we get into details about how to adopt social media concepts to an enterprise’s content management.

Content rules the world. Content in all forms: news, information, video, audio, written word, etc. With the rise of the internet —and especially social media platforms— we completely changed consuming content. People are consuming (and producing) the content in today’s world, almost 24/7. And this is regardless of the channel(s) they use, for example, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

I know many people (including myself) who’d prefer not to drink or eat for one day instead of going without the internet and social media. But, undoubtedly, without denying the downsides, the internet and social media have changed everything:

  • The way we consume information and content.
  • Our way of communicating
  • Our relation to content (creation)
  • How sales and marketing works
  • It disrupted entire industries
  • And on, and on, and on.

Personally, the part I’m super-thrilled about is the possibility of accessing a sheer limitless content world. Regardless of looking for the latest news, business information, data, or anything else — social media and content platforms hold an unlimited amount of content.

Social Media, first and foremost, is endless content universe.

Benjamin Walther

Company’s Content Creation (And Management) Seems To Be Stuck In 1996

Why I’m telling you all this? I’m genuinely convinced that we’ve witnessed unprecedented development over the last few years. A development that changed the way we use the content. This —first and foremost— has been driven by social media and content platforms.

However, when we get granular on companies, creating and accessing content seems to be stuck somewhere around 1996. Although 1996 was a great year since Germany won the European Football Championship, companies missed a huge opportunity. This mainly accounts for mid-sized and large companies.

Email & Intranet — That’s How Companies Manage Content

So how does the reality look? Email still is the number one communication tool. Indeed, many have started to use video conferencing and enhanced communication tools (Slack, Skype, etc.). Nonetheless, when it comes to content management and information distribution across an enterprise, email and the intranet are probably most familiar. And only a few companies are creating content at scale. Even worse: Many of the companies I’ve talked to haven’t yet understood the power of content creation.

Let’s get practical! Adapting Social Media Concepts To An Enterprise’s Content Management

Companies have to explore concepts to create content that is relevant to their employees — at scale. Subsequently, they have to establish content management solutions to distribute content through a personalized newsfeed app. And this should be similar to social media networks, Facebook, for example.

I’m pretty sure that the first question that comes into your mind is something like, “what kind of content is he talking about???”

I’m talking about every piece of content and every piece of information relevant to the particular employee. Every content piece or information he/she needs to have a superior level of situational awareness. Every content piece or information they need to improve quality, efficiency, or reliability.

Here are a few examples to make that more tangible:

  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Newsfeeds from websites
  • Social media news
  • Internal news
  • Revenue Figures
  • Operations Data
  • Customer Care Data
  • Financial information 
  • Management Information & Updates
  • Etc.

Automated Content-At-Scale

However, there’s one significant difference between enterprise content management and social media platforms. For an enterprise, it is essential to automate the initial content creation and management. Of course, manual content creation should be possible for employees. However, automated content creation and management should account for the most significant portion (90%-95%).

There are two reasons why: First, employees still have other responsibilities than creating internal content. Second, and more importantly, you need reliable sources that make content at scale.

Creating automated content at scale provides the possibility to deliver very personalized and tailored information to each employee. Here’s an example from an (airline )content platform we’ve built.

What’s The Benefit of Integrating Social Media Concepts Into An Enterprise’s Content Management

Besides lots of small benefits, there are two killer arguments why companies have to go down that road.

First of all, information is an absolute competitive advantage. Imagine a company where every employee is entirely aware of what’s going on. That would be a company ready to outperform any competitor. Secondly, tailored content at scale will lead to super-contextual communication. 

The combination of perfect awareness/information and contextual communication will positively disrupt companies. Most likely, in a way, we can’t imagine right now — as no one could imagine the impact social media were going had ten years ago.

What Do You Think?

Always happy to discuss this further. Just hit me up on Twitter or get in touch with me on LinkedIn.

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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