Organizations are social capital amplifiers. They collect social capital from the networks of all of their employees, funding sources, board members, partners, advisors, volunteers, donors, consumers, and suppliers. They can then focus social capital on a tightly integrated array of crucial projects that in turn affect the success of the whole organization.
Social media campaigns use social networks as a medium for broadcasting a message or collective action. This is “pushing power to the edges.”
Social capital networks also enable collecting and focusing social capital to accomplish precise tasks of a single team or a single professional working for the organization. This is collecting power from the edges to accomplish work needed in the center.
On the one hand, social media campaigns are becoming well used and understood. (For example, see Momentum: Igniting Social Change in a Connected Age.” On the other hand, using extended social capital networks to get work done within the center of organizations is less well understood and adopted – except by a relative few “networkers” in the organization. Likewise, the tools that can enhance extended social capital applications are far too under-used, largely because of lack of knowledge and focus on why or how to use them. As a result, this means that organizations can currently tap only a tiny fraction of their available social capital.
For more on social capital applications for organizations, networks, and multi-centered meta networks see:
Recent blog post on Types of Social Capital Applications
Recent blog post on Facebook, LinkedIn and Usefulness for Organizations