Today, meeting people does not only mean asking for their numbers. It becomes a necessity to ask for their Facebook pages and viewing their Twitter accounts. If it is a professional correspondence, you may have to find them on LinkedIn to check their professional life.
Social media has invaded modern life and anyone not on any of the big three platform is practically unknown. Although long overdue, businesses are finally embracing social media as the new platform to make them known.
However, businesses are now beginning to see social media in a new light. Are social media websites the next collaboration tools?
Businesses on Social Media
Many businesses view social media as an extension of their marketing mix, customer service, and contact portal. Facebook and Twitter become a cheap alternative to press conference. New products are announced real time and services, such as those in restaurants, are easily searchable. Departments stores with promos or clearance sale also utilize social media to gain attention. On the other hand, some companies see social media as a significant source of consumer data.
“Really savvy companies are using new software monitoring tools to search social media for discussions, comments, and complaints by customers and employees about their company and products and services,” says Karl Moore in his article on Forbes.
“In many cases, they get some great information that they use to improve their product or service, and sometimes they even contact people who complain to gather more details as indicative about how other customers might feel.”
Businesses are also taking advantage of the massive power of online collaboration. Take for example Linux. If you are not familiar with it, Linux is a platform where independent or groups of developers can use to create their own operation system without any cost.
OS made on top of Linux are getting popular nowadays. Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Red Hat are the most well known. Most of these collaborations are done over the Internet without the developers having to meet in person.
Collaboration on Social Media
You’ve probably heard of Web 2.0, which means everything you are accessing over the Internet now. Web 2.0 describes interactive online content, unlike static text-heavy websites during the 90′s.
Andrew McAfee saw the need to describe the effects of technology on businesses and coined the term ‘Enterprise 2.0″. Simply put, it is “synonymous with the integration of social media tools and services with the corporate intranet, extranet and business processes”.
A good example is Beehive. IBM has been using an internal social and collaborative network since mid-2007. Beehive is not unlike a typical Facebook page. Employees can edit their bio page, add photos, and connect with other IBM employees around the world.
Employees have found ways to creatively use Beehive in their professional life. Employees who have met colleagues at conferences or are working between different departments use Beehive to stay connected and to get to know each other.
Also, ideas inside IBM can be posted on the social platform and gain support. They can also ask others to brainstorm and suggest ways to complete a problem. Lastly, Beehive became an effective way for the executives of the company to communicate with their employees.