Internal Social Media Collaboration: A Comparison of Platforms


A best practices approach to social media begins on the inside of the organization, with education and training for employees. In a recent blog post, “Internal Social Media Education and Collaboration,” I highlighted a few social platforms including SharePoint, Socialtext, Grou.ps and Ning, which can be used for educating employees, internal collaboration and innovation.  Some of the key features I discussed in the post included:

  • Internal communications tools available (i.e., messaging, discussion and chat)
  • Sharing capabilities available (i.e., links, resources and documents editing)
  • Subgroups and/or forums available to users
  • Hosted platform or installed on a company’s network
  • Data ownership and whether or not the social network claims any ownership rights in your code, content, or network data
  • Ease of set up and use; the selection of a platform that’s easy to manage and upload content
  • Ease of customization; a platform that enables employees to add designs, photos and maintain the brand’s identity
  • Price (enterprise software vs. a social networking platform)

Here’s a helpful chart with the different platforms mentioned above, comparing their key features and benefits (click on the chart to enlarge):

Of course, this chart only gives you a basic idea of the functionality available.  You will need to research the platforms further and demo each, prior to determining which one will suite your company and your employees’ needs.

Are there any platforms that you’ve researched for internal collaboration and education that should be added to this chart?


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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Alex Schott says:

    Nice job! Saw that Yammer wasn’t included. What are your thoughts on that platform?

  2. Hi, Deirdre:

    A client of mine specializes in SharePoint, so I’ve heard great things about it for mid to large enterprises (of course). On a small scale, though, I’ve recently used both Yammer and Basecamp while subcontracting and managing interns. Both solid options when considering low/no cost solutions.

  3. Deirdre says:

    Thanks, Alex! Interesting that you ask…Yammer wasn’t on our radar when we did the research for a client. But, will certainly take a look at what the platform has to offer.

  4. Deirdre says:

    Hi LuAnn! I’m familiar with SharePoint through one of our larger clients. Alex also mentioned Yammer, which wasn’t on my radar, but I will certainly check out now. Will look into Basecamp as well. Thank you for suggesting these additional options.

  5. Sarah Perry says:

    Hi Deirdre,

    Thanks for this, will share with the Auckland Internal Networking group who just met about internal social media.

    If you want other solutions to take a look at / include, here’s another alternative:

    http://www.snapcomms.com/products/internal-social-media.aspx

  6. Deirdre says:

    Hi Sarah! I’m glad you found the information helpful and thanks for sharing the link with me!

  7. Dan Connolly says:

    Deidre,
    I might also suggest Blogtronix. They offer a complete suite of tools that includes a robust wiki & document repository. There are MANY players in this space and the landscape is very competitive. However, the twitter-like functionality that they have incorporated into the micro-blogging space is very advanced. Yammer is comparable to Sharetronix in functionality and currently lacks IMO “enterprise level” functions. However, for basic micro-blogging & communication/collaboration, it does the job!

  8. Deirdre says:

    Hi Dan, thanks for suggesting Blogtronix. I agree, there are a lot of players in the space. I’m not familiar with Blogtronix, but will check out the platform. Right now, most of the clients I’m working with don’t need the “enterprise level” functionality, so this info is really helpful. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  9. Lexy Haynes says:

    Hi Deidre,

    Just found you via #PRStudChat (looking forward to my first “live” chat tonight). :) Following your posts now! This one was helpful, thanks. I’d heard of Ning when it first started, but not recently, thanks for reminding me of it.

    What most hit me though was just your first line – best practices begin on the inside of an organization. So true! I just wrote our PR agency’s most recent blog post (http://clearpointagency.wordpress.com) and started with that very point. I named the internal audience as “numero uno”. Any tool companies can use to effectively get their employees on the same page is a good choice.

    Looking forward to more posts and chatting tonight!

    ~Lexy @AYates

  10. Deirdre says:

    Hi Lexy! I’m so happy that you found me and that you will be joining our discussion tonight. It’s going to be a really good session with the authors of Social Marketing to the Business Customer. I think it’s great that you also believe in working from the inside out. It’s so important to the success of a communications program. You have to have your employee on board because they are a brand’s front line of champions and they are “numero uno!.” Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and I’ll “see” you later :)

  11. Vizz Media says:

    Social Media is not only effective to connect businesses to its customers, but also help share and circulate a great deal of information inside the organization. Thanks for sharing Deirdre.

    http://www.facebook.com/vizzmedia

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