When you look at a definition of social media I came across in a research paper that was made for Kennisnet by Mark Schoondorp of Winkwaves. The definition Mark used is “Social Media facilitates organized forms to act together”. I interpret acting together as to add value together in a work setting. When you think of social media as channels or platforms that can be used to facilitate adding value together, you might come up with the following three types of channels: digital channels, physical channels and organizational channels.
Digital channels are the usual suspect. Tools like twitter, blogs and wikis can be used to add value together at work. These tools get a lot of attention at the moment. But physical channels or platforms can be a great accelerator for adding value. A office design that is inspiring will add value. A layout can enable the right social connections. Even the organization itself can be a channel. Can organizing get-togethers to tell stories or a off-site teambuilding session be social media?
I my opinion these three types of social media need to be aligned for the best results. If you interact with someone on twitter you only enter a new level of trust if you have met offline. Storytelling events in the company restaurant will have a bigger impact if they are continued online. Standalone will work and facilitate your efforts but a new level of performance will more likely be reached when all social media types are aligned.