Guest post: Building social media alignment 

Yulia Sidorova PhD researcher at Politecnico di Milano is looking for three large organisations in Europe as case studies for a new Social Media Alignment Assessment. Visit eventbrite for a free seat at the 28 May webinar to Yulia will give to explain the process.

The process is led by one of Europe’s top management science centres, Politecnico di Milano. By interviewing colleagues at different levels and in different functions, the process produces a detailed risk assessment for the organisation, recommendations and benchmarking against ICT and consulting firms. 

The problem is clear to many firms. Because social media are so easily found and shared, corporate communication has to be a team sport. Some companies have experienced spectacular failures by not communicating across silos or between senior managers and those working directly with social media. International research underway by the team at Politecnico di Milano is discovering that specific performance measures and reporting methods play a central role in the way that companies fail, or succeed, with social media.  

More specifically two macro-processes is in focus of this investigation: 

1.The use of social media in profit and non-profit organizations 

How is Social Media Information (SMI) used for performance management? Specifically, this study shows how SMI is used by different functions in two ways. First, we look across the company (communication, marketing, research and development, accounting, human resources, etc.), (what we call horizontal diffusion). Second, we consider managers in different hierarchical position (in our terms, vertical diffusion), ranging from people at the front office to the managerial level.  

Expected Outputs:  

  • Mapping the use of social media information and major activities involved in it 
  • Benchmarking against other enterprises active in social media in terms of organizational and managerial configurations (comparing with our previous studies of similar firms) 
  • Risk assessment within specific departments and across company 

2.Social Media Information Value 

What value do SMI add to more traditional data, taking as a reference one area of performance (based on companies’ use and preferences). Our objective is to compare the value of SMI with traditional data or indicators in order to identify differences and correlations between those two spheres using specific criteria (timeliness, precision, completeness, measurability, etc.). For example, we can take customer satisfaction that could be measured with traditional instruments such as phone surveys, but also through direct comments in social media (such as Twitter or Facebook). We will analyse differences in data quality, find correlations and then discuss this comparison with key managers in the company.  

Expected Outputs:  

  • Critical assessment of the process of collecting and analysing social media data and perceived value. 
  • Review of the resilience of the methods being used; in other words how the information would change if a different methodology were to be adopted? 

The overall report will be provided at the end of the project. This output will review the main findings, and can be accompanied by a presentation for managers giving key findings and guidelines on specific methods and metrics that could also be used. If there is a specific process on which the firm has a core focus, our analysis can give specific recommendations for the optimisation of the use of SMI within that core process. 

The project duration is typically between two weeks and one month, typically depending on your availability. It includes a series of interviews with employees at the different levels (senior manager, manager, executives, and junior staff), followed by an analysis of the specific data. Afterwards, data will be charted, and the draft report sent to key interested parties. The final report and presentation could be done in one or two weeks after your feedback on the draft report.  


All information will be treated as confidential by Politecnico di Milano; to guarantee confidentiality. 

Research Group 

Yulia Sidorova, PhD at Politecnico di Milano. Her main research interests are social media and performance management. She is a third year PhD candidate that is researching in social media and management for five years since her master program. The current research involves number of international firms covering Italy, Russia and Holland and collaborations with the University of Edinburgh, TUDelft University and the University of Technology of Sydney. She presented her works at major international conferences and published in the international academic journal.  



Phone: +44 7423594954 or +39 3801057810 

Skype: julia.sidorova (Como, Italy) 

Michela Arnaboldi, full professor at Politecnico di Milano. Her main research interests are performance management and risk management ( 

Yulia Sidorova

Yulia Sidorova is a Ph.D. researcher at Politecnico di Milano.