This week we've got the dirt on everything from the top 10 social business communities (and why they are important) to why a smaller community can sometimes be your best bet.

Social Collaboration Can Drive Significant ROI for Business

Rich Blank (@pmpinsights): What's the ROI of social?

For almost 20 years, organizations and executives have asked that question, demanding a hard financial payback when considering an investment in social and community platforms. At a macro level, they want to know, how does a concept like “social collaboration” directly impact the status quo and improve:

  • Sales, product innovation and speed-to-market of new products?
  • Customer satisfaction and employee engagement?
  • Cost savings and operating efficiency?

These are all logical questions as every organization has these same objectives. Yet, a magic formula for quantifying the business value of “social” has proved elusive. What’s the value of connecting people; engaging groups of individuals in collaboration within the context of a community; sharing ideas or knowledge; or learning from social interactions and the transfer of expertise, experience, interests, feedback and insights?

Why Smaller May be Better for Social Business Communities

David Hillis (@davidhillis): While clearly there is value in user adoption, many social networks generate far more value by limiting the size of the community. For this reason, smaller communities are an emerging trend on the consumer Internet. For instance, the popular photo-sharing app, Path, limits the number of connections for each user to 50. Moreover, according to the tech rumor mill, the new Google social service will also cap the number of connections to create “circles” of your closest friends and family. By limiting the size of the community, these services hope to increase the quality of the experience and the richness of the connections.

When planning a business community site, managers need to evaluate the model to determine whether to focus on user adoption or interaction value. In many cases, business communities may be best served by keeping membership exclusive to increase the value of the connections and interactions.

Collaboration: Rules of the Road

David Coleman (@dcoleman100): How do you know you are using the right collaboration tool? With 2000 + tools in the market place today, how do you know you have the best solution to your collaborative challenge? The goal of this article is to give you some general rules of the road for collaboration. What technology to use and the best time to use it.

Purpose Driven Communities: Dear C-Suite - Why we aren't engaged

Deb Lavoy (@deb_lavoy): Here's what we've learned. Successful leaders work with their team to create, develop, nurture and execute on a shared sense of purpose. It's an essential ingredient for great organizations. Without that purpose, everything is harder than it should be. If you are looking to understand how to evolve your organization, to make it agile, effective, innovative; if you want to set the standard for whatever it is you do, consider the role that purpose plays on your team — is it central to your thinking? Is it current? Is everyone focused on it? Does everyone understand it?

So You Think You are Good at Collaboration

Martin White (@intranetfocus): There seems to be general agreement that better collaboration will result in better business performance. There is evidence that this is actually not always the case, but for now let me go with the collective wisdom.

10 of the Best Social Business Communities & Why They are Important

Mark Fidelman (@markfidelman): Want to convince your company to start an online community?

It helps to have a list of top business communities that you can reference. Communities that are differentiated and stand out amongst their peers. Communities that generate revenue, lower costs or in the best situation, do both.