Everyone and everything is going Social and the business world is embracing the Social Enterprise very quickly. Regardless of the use of Social Media to connect to new and existing clients, better connect and support employees or just to jump on the bandwagon, the Social Enterprise has gone from Fad to Superstar this year.
When we break down what has become known to many as People, Planet and Profit…what are the real benefits of a more Socially connected business? I see 5 real advantages to investing in the Social Enterprise today
1. Customer Insight
How else can you know what your marketplace is thinking of you? To connect with your customers you can test new products, gain feedback (both good and bad) and connect with tomorrow’s Consumers Today. Social Media has touched almost 1/2 of the internet population and the internet population now stands at over 2 Billion People so to look to new markets will provide a huge return on investment. But what if your company exclusively deals with B2B…well in the SMB space…over 48% of Small Businesses now have a Facebook Page…that is pretty impressive.
2. Tactical Advantage
Knowing the wants and needs are all fine and good but what good is that knowledge if it is not put into play with the entire organization. Tactically speaking have this information available improves the potential of empowering the workforce to greater heights. Productivity and “Value per Minute” is something that has been talked about and pushed upon every employee at every company for years…it seems to be paying off right now in American Businesses. But will the Social Enterprise increase productivity or just create another “distraction”?
3. Strategic Insight
Knowing what the competition is doing has always been a Strategic Imperative for businesses but because of Social Media…it provides a “level playing field” and everyone lays their cards out on the table. Building a strong company that takes input from all sources that will touch the development is key. Social Collaboration is something that as a society we are getting far more comfortable with…the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street can attribute much of their success because of forward thinking Social Media Strategies to Crowd Source the concept of change. This can have the same effect within businesses allowing the newest employee to contribute real ideas and insights into the future of the company.
4. Employee Collaboration
Getting down to the basis of why Social Business is making the in roads that it is can be tracked back to the need for employees to connect and share. While there is always competition between departments and staff members…the effect that Collaboration has had on increasing efficiency, sharing best practices and focusing on the end result rather than the 27 steps it took to get there is where the real long term win will be for a Social Business. Whether you are using SharePoint, Chatter, Jive or now Google.
OK so going Green is a nice add on to the concept…connecting employees and building team that could span 5 continents and provide direct insight and connections will definitely add value but I don’t see “Going Social” and “Green Initiatives” as being one and the same…it is just a great benefit to the move. Soon there will be less and less need for organizations to send people around the world at considerable monetary and “Carbon” expenses because of a better connected and socially motivated workforce.
Well I posed the question in the Title of Social Business – What Next? 2012 will be a really interesting year as there will be some amazing consolidations occur in the Social Enterprise Software space…who will buy what and where will this concept end up next year at the same time…for me I see Google dominating in this space and building a really great connected service with the integration of Google Apps and Google+ and IBM and Microsoft going head to head on a better product for larger enterprises. Take it or leave it…the Social Business is here to stay…at least until the next big Buzz comes down and has everyone in a tizzy…and when that happens…will you be ready???
Question for December 26, 2011
In 2012 what is your bigger concern, The Social Enterprise or the Mobile Enterprise?
Chris J Powell