When discussing social media, the conversation is usually focused on engaging with potential consumers, listening to ongoing brand related conversations, advertising on these new platforms etc. Research has shown that people spend almost one in five online hours on social networks making this technology an important aspect of every marketing strategy.
In the United States alone, 93% of adults are on Facebook and have an average of 229 friends. The huge popularity of these networks alone make it impossible for companies to consider how to integrate social marketing into their traditional marketing plans.
What is interesting, and is now being discussed and embraced by more and more companies, is the use of social networks for inter-office communication. Many experts are now supporting social networks as the ideal platform for office communication. Among the many reasons are the fact that time spent searching for material is cut down and the fact that it makes for a more collaborative team can make progress faster and more efficiently.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, this idea is discussed; “Companies are beginning to discover that social technology platforms provide a far more efficient way of communicating and collaborating. And, they give companies a way to dig out the “dark matter” of company knowledge that is buried in email inboxes and on hard drives… On social platforms, communications become content – forming a searchable archive that can be continually enriched with comments and addition by members of the online community.”
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By developing a social network specifically for a business to use between employees, the full extent of what the social age means can be ingrained in the company. Of course for this system to work, all members will need to participate starting from the top. A social network for business requires the mindset that has become more prevalent since the introduction of social networks – an openness of ideas and free flowing collaboration between people in order to create.
As HBR explains: “How do you create applications that are as compelling to corporate employees as they are to those same people in their personal lives? Techniques such as self-reinforcing behavior loops (e.g. gamification), A/B testing, and mobile deployment can be applied in the enterprise, just as they are used in the consumer space. But overall, changing mindsets, behaviors and a culture that celebrates and expects sharing and openness is a real organizational challenge.” If more companies embrace this mentality, the potential for businesses to expand and progress is great.
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