Adoption of Social Media: How Accenture did it?

Almost every company has acknowledged that social media is becoming an effective communication tool for business to engage with customers directly. While nearly 60% of them have implemented social media or plan to in the next six months, 39% said they would not participate in social CRM.

Surprisingly, many of the businesses which have implemented social media still lack of well-structured guideline to support organization-wide adoption.

Here are some typical issues which executives would worry about before adopting social media to the organization:

  1. Security and privacy
  2. Intellectual property concern
  3. Legal issues
  4. Cost of implantation

The Facts about Social Business Adoption



Accenture is a global company providing technology service, management consulting and outsourcing, with early adoption of social media, recently claims returns as high as 20 to 1. Through the collaborative social media suite, Collaboration2.0, employees are encouraged to boost their productivity and improve work efficiency by actively updating profile, skills, experience and participating in knowledge database building and sharing.

Collaboration2.0 includes the following key functionalities which allow employees to work effectively:

Accenture People:

Facebook-inspired social networking platform by which employees can easily update professional profile and search for related skills or experience, find SMEs and instantly connect via email, online chat, whiteboard session, high definition telepresence videoconference, phone or voicemail.

Accenture Media Exchange:  

Youtube-resembled platform provides videos for training, marketing, knowledge transition and community building

Accenture Encyclopedia:

Wikipedia-style site as knowledge database

Microblogging tool:

Integrates Yammer for effectively brainstorming and ideas exchanging with global colleagues. More than 4200 microblog updates by employees monthly.


Informal knowledge and expertise sharing platform with more than 1000 blog posts contributed by employees monthly.

Why Accenture can achieve this:

  • Integrate social media into workflow:  Through integrating social media tools into employee’s workflow, the participation is no longer a burden, instead, it turned into an effective tool to boost productivity and improve collaborative efficiency.
  • Rewards better than regulations
  • Listen to the Target Audience:  Through focusing both on organization’s benefit and individual’s needs and interests, Accenture’s IT organization developed Accenture People based on employee’s suggestions, by which employees can actively participate in groups and communities related to work and leisure life.
  • Motivation encourage active participation: While the contents on social media can be generated freely and based on personal interests or work related needs, engagement is actively achieved by employees with better quality contents.

Besides, the chairman of Accenture, Bill Green has published two blog posts through The Hoffington Post, indicating the adoption of social media within the organization may receive the help from the top as well.

Accenture’s chairman, Bill Green’s blog posts on the Hoffington Post

 What I think:

Though Accenture has early adopted and harnessed the power of social media with effective tool, Collaborative2.0, in the organization, and integrated other external platforms such as:

Social media tools implemented by Accenture

There are still rooms for improvement:

  • Providing contents appeal to customers: Define specific goals such as reach 20 replies or 10 shares on each post, evaluate the outcome and modify the contents to meet customers’ expectation.  See how CitiGroup successfully has customers actively engage in the community.

Accenture’s Facebook page post with only a few feedback

  • Using Reward to boost both internal and external engagement: As mentioned above, rewards always work better than regulations, if organization takes social media contribution of each employee into the evaluation of their performance, the productivity would still be boosted but the quality of outcome will be different.

More Case study on Social Media Adoption

1. Social Media @ IBM Case study – IBM social media adoption in their organization

2. Social Media @ Oracle –Engaging Employees & Oracle Community

3. Social Media @ Microsoft – SharePoint 2010

4. Social Media @ HP – WaterCooler deployed internally

5. Social Media @ Indian IT Vendors – Adoption of Internal Social Networking tools/platforms on the rise – Key Statistics


1. Social Media Adoption in Business – Wanna Know?

2. Slow and Steady: Why Businesses Aren’t Diving Into Social Media Head First

3. Short Case Studies – Industry Analysis & Reviews

4. Social Media & Business Adoption 2011 – Big US Companies hold back adoption

5. Accenture: Collaboration 2.0

9 thoughts on “Adoption of Social Media: How Accenture did it?

  1. Hello, Edie. I like your some points, such as integrate social media into workflow and motivation encourage active participation. If social media into workflow, social media may efficiently increase productivity and collaboration. Besides, corporations evaluate each one staff contribution and give them different reward which can increase working motivation.

  2. Great example on Accenture Edie! The structure and purpose of each platform is clearly defined in Collaboration 2.0. No doubt they are successful in the implementation.

    The 4 points you listed on their approach encourages participation from the employee. I think it is important that Collaboration 2.0 is integrated into the workflow. Since the employees have to do that as part of their work, they are most likely to accept it. They do not need to factor additional time to contribute into something that does not directly ‘contribute’ towards their daily tasks.

    I also like your other point on “rewards better than regulations”. Nobody likes to be forced into doing something. Accenture has taken the right approach of positive encouragement. Not only it removes the pressure for the employee to participate, it encourages them to be a part in order to gain recognition and reward. 🙂

  3. Hi,
    Accenture really did try to add a lot of elements to improve the workflow and productivity of the organization. It is especially good and very motivating to the employees to see the higher up taking an active part in using the tools. Having a reward system will definitely encourage people to take part and increase participation in discussing and commenting. However, a reward system could be a double edge sword where it could get competitive and the discussion will be unproductive.

  4. Hello Edie,

    that was a great post(as always)!

    I like your case study on Accenture.

    Also, I strongly agree with you that, how Accenture managed to achieved this, part of the reasons is because they ‘listened to target audience’.
    In my opinion, without listening to the main group of people who interact with the clients everyday, they would not be any good.

  5. Accenture has adopted a lots of useful social medias that suitable for their organization. Most of these tools create by Accenture and are internal use so the security is very high. All of these tools also good for information sharing within organization. For external platform, it is really depends on how Accenture want to engage with people. They will lose a lot of time with social medias if they try to get more reply by being more active in the blog. It might help getting more customer but I don’t know if it will be good trade off with the loss of time to work on something else.


    Prapat W.

  6. Hi Edie:
    Accenture has utilized social media to intergrate into workflow that can save time for employees in commication and enhace personal productivity in teamwork.Certainly, corpoation has to engagement with coustomer to improve itself reputation and profits via social media.I think movitation is essencial factor for ecmplyees interesting in using social media to concet with clients in workplace. kiki^^

  7. Hi Edie,
    I agree with you that executives are worried about implementing social media in their organizations, especially because exist the myth that Social media tools can affect to your company’s security and privacy, indeed this could happen but an executive should be always prepared to implement this tools correctly so privacy and security won’t be affected, as you said with correct guidelines.

    Good post.


  8. Hi Eddie.
    It’s good see more people exploring the Accenture case for E2.0 (I also did it a few posts ago). Indeed they can be considered early adopters since 2004, and when I was working for Accenture I felt the evangelyst strategy they applied to Collaboration 2.0. Recently I contacted Accenture to get some feedback about the Collaboration 2.0 resultas, and I can tell you they are really happy with cost’s cuts in communication. Also the knowledge sharing has improved a lot.
    If you are (like me) an Accenture’s case entusiast I suggest you this link.

  9. Pingback: Wiki as CMS (Content Management System) for Organizations « LET'S Enterprise 2.0

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