The International Business Machines Corporation (commonly referred as IBM) is an American multinational that manufactures and markets computer hardware and software along with providing hosting and consulting services. This multinational corporation was found in 1911 as a technology giant through a merger between the International Time Recording Company, the Tabulating Machine Company and the Computing Scale Company. The IBM has been making the most “clever” use of Blogs, Twitter and Wikis in its enterprise-level operations in order to spur employee innovation using social media tools and solutions. It is undoubtedly one of the most active social media participants in the corporate world.
The company undertakes a decentralized social media participation approach whereby the company does not have a corporate Blog or a corporate Twitter ID but IBMers are encouraged to use their personal blogs and discussions both in-house and externally outside the organization in order to participate and “comment” about key organizational happenings. The company boasts of having around 17,000 internal blogs with over 100,000 employees very actively participating on those blogs to discuss various topics and happenings pertaining to enterprise operations and prospects.
Communication researchers maintain that the importance of using social media for enterprise and official usage has still not yet been adequately regarded by the corporate world. Social media is a distinct area of technology that serves many purposes at the same time. It is considered as one of the most desirable platforms for User Generated Content. The company rightly uses this technological power to voice out its employees’ opinions by using “Social Blue” which is similar to as Face book for its employees. There is a great scope of enhancement of presence on the social media and the company feels it can go even far. Presently, there are a few thousand members on Twitter while almost 200,000 employees have their accounts at LinkedIn. The employees of the company realize their importance as company representatives on these social media websites whereby they can not only create an image of their companies but also enhance their customer and clientele base. Moreover, there are 50,000 members in alum networks on Face book and LinkedIn. In short, the company is successfully maintaining its social media presence, making it a platform to spur business and bring knowledge to many people at the same instance.
Being a knowledge-based company that IBM is, it is only the company agenda to prioritize social media participation as a vital factor for company’s workforce integration, empowerment and collaboration. They contend that it makes perfect “business sense” to the company management teat their employees share and exchange ideas while contributing to the collective information of the entire organization. The coming era is sure to see a more active and integrated presence of the company in more social media networks that emerge from time to time.