Document: Apple and Pears? – The relationship of popular social media networks and professional knowledge sharing networks
Legions of social media consultants try to convince us that a project’s success today relays on a good integration with the popular social media networks (SMNs): Everyone and everything has to be on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Co. – be it you as a professional, your grocery store at the corner, and of course your company or NGO. These popular SMNs work fine for marketing, fundraising and sharing personal stories. However, does this hold true for professional knowledge sharing networks like the Local Government ICT Network (www.lgict.org.za)?
Building up on the “functional building blocks of social media” (Kietzmann et al. 2011), we will argue that the popular SMNs favour specific functionalities, which are not in the main focus of professional knowledge sharing networks. Furthermore, we will discuss a range of different impediments from connectivity, different audience and content as well as access controls (closed groups). We will suggest a set of recommendations on how to address these challenges. We will argue that successful use of social media does not equal the presence on the popular SMNs, but rather means making meaningful use of adequate elements social media consist of.