This topic has been discussed again and again, and the fact still remains; social media and social networking are aspects of business that are not going anywhere soon.
In our 2013 forecast, we told you not only to watch for even more companies to join the social media craze, but to also look for a massive increase in companies who embrace their own, company-specific internal social networks.
These business-oriented social networking sites, or enterprise networks, are usually consumer software like Facebook or Twitter, but designed for open company collaboration, secure file sharing, knowledge exchange and team efficiency. Networks, such as Yammer and Socialcast, allow your company to share information, similar to a project management site but with more of a social twist.
The most obvious reason these networking sites are gainingpopularity is that they allow companies with multiple locations to communicate with all their employees in real time, no matter how many miles separate them. These types of networks can solve the common issues that global companies face, i.e. connecting employees that are thousands of miles apart and encouraging them to act as one team.
Using a company-specific social media platform can break down these communication barriers, allow collaboration beyond the restrictions of departments or geographical location, and strengthen the company culture. Whether a company has thousands of employees or just ten, these networks connect your whole team and encourage them to get work done in a social environment.
Even if all your employees are in one place, these types of social networking sites can still be beneficial. No matter the industry, giving employees a platform for constant sharing can unleash creativity and innovation. Social media allows organizations to easily conduct virtual brainstorms by tapping into a broad base of diverse thinking and ideas. In addition, the ability to communicate in real time can drastically help educate current/new employees, and allow sharing of company information, i.e. holiday schedules, vacation time, etc.
The greatest benefit, no matter the type or size of a company, is that using social network sites make company information mobile. Mobile-friendly communication allows employees to communicate anytime, anywhere, which can be very useful for a workforce that might be on the move without immediate computer access. This mobility can also help generate leads and revenue by giving employees the company marketing messages they need in a format that is easy to pass along to current or potential customers.
No matter the size, location, or industry you are in, a business-oriented social networking site can provide real benefits to your company. Will 2013 be the year you launch yours?