Some techniques work and some don't. Here's a cheat sheet.
Next to mobility and cloud computing, social networking was the talk of Interop this year--especially at a conference session devoted to social software tools and a portion of the Unconference, where real SMB users talked about how to make the most of it.
--Hosted user blogs and blog comments (you host, but don't control, user postings)
--Enterprise discussion (especially useful after a merger or acquisition)
--Knowledgebase management (collaboration)
--Communities of practice
--Enterprise networking (intranets and/or Facebook groups for employees); vendors include Ning and Lithium
Of course, where social networking takes place is only the first part of the puzzle.
The networking itself can take many forms:
Social Networking Functions
--Wikis; vendors include MediaWiki (the foundation of Wikipedia), Atlassian, MindTouch and Socialtext)
--Project tracking/participation software
--Multimedia (video/audio, internal or external, including YouTube)
--Presence/instant messaging (IM)
--Public social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing and MySpace .