It seems like today, every business is taking advantage of some form of social technology. You can find most businesses active on Twitter and Facebook, but that is the tip of the iceberg in terms of what businesses can be achieving.
In fact- whilst many businesses (72%) realise the value of social technology and use social technologies, many of them could be doing more to maximise their organisations full potential. Although 90% report seeing benefits from their tools, only 3% of businesses are benefiting significantly. Many businesses need to do more if they really want to make the most of the incredible tools available.
More than 1.5 billion people around the world have signed up to a social networking service and 80 percent of those users regularly interact with their social media. These direct and quantitative figures suggest why so many businesses have spotted the social networking trend and slipped into it.
Hidden behind a wall, however, there are harder to find and harder to measure statistics that highlight less obvious ways to improve your business using social technology and this method is not about being connected to your clients or customers. It's about what many businesses seem to take for granted- being well connected internally. For this, the conventional social network just won't suffice.
Internal Enterprise Social Networks and collaboration tools are the answer to this. They're like your conventional social network but with an extra sense of privacy. It's also completely under the control of your business. This means there is no spam or promoted content to distract from the main tasks at hand.
We're said to be spending 19% of our time at work tracking down certain resources that we need in order to work. With social technology, there is always a simple search somewhere on the page to do this work for you. Teams can store their files online in a secure environment that is accessible to whoever you allow. When businesses integrate file management tools into their company culture, all of the organisation's resources (to a large extent) are online and accessible either at the click of a few buttons. Implemented file management systems should mean that time spent tracking down resources should largely be eradicated.
Using blogs and microblogs it's easy to share information and updates amongst your clients and employees. You may be shocked to know that 65% of businesses haven't updated their blog in a year or more. 25 billion blog pages are viewed every month. This gives an idea of how much potential blogging has. Microblogs are great ways to share smaller messages that can be read quickly. When built into a timeline, you can cast out information in smaller chunks, allowing more to be absorbed.
Save time and money by holding meetings online. There's also other benefits such as the ability to refer back to your discussions- dispelling the need for teams to be reminded of ideas and tasks and with no need for anyone to take minutes. A whopping 28% of meetings are a waste of time according to the technology distributor, Steljes. This statistic instantly highlights room for improvement within many businesses. Although it's important to hold fact-to-face meetings some of the time, discussions are an alternative option if your team cannot congregate easily.
Knowledge workers spend 28 hours a week writing emails, searching for information and collaborating internally. In the USA the average time spent working weekly is 46 hours. That means we spend over 60% of time doing these tasks. This statistic alone is staggering and is screaming out that we need to take action in order to make collaboration more efficient and productive within our businesses.
There are a world of hidden benefits that social technology can provide for all of your stakeholders that will benefit your organisation. This is where we introduce project collaboration software. Obtaining this is the first step to making your business more productive.
A well implemented collaboration tool can make internal working, sharing and communication much quicker and more efficient. This leads to an increase in productivity and in turn, a bigger number on your bottom line. Widening the channels of access to your team's work by creating a web of knowledge that connects all of an organisations documents, files and people, completely washes away the irrelevant noise we currently face when collaborating with our colleagues via media such as email and one-to-one messenger.
Businesses soon notice the benefits and savings that internal social networking brings as well as the scope of these benefits. The trend of businesses adopting collaboration tools is beginning to snowball. Project collaboration tools help organisations to maintain their competitive edge and should seriously be considered and invested in.
Project collaboration tools are always great for your clients. They can see the processes your organisation is taking to complete their projects. This makes the clients feel involved, keeping them happy. Clients can also contribute more efficiently to the process which means your business has an increased chance of getting it right first time. There are many options for both clients and coworkers to contribute to projects.
MGI believe that businesses "could improve the productivity of its interaction workforce by 20 to 25 percent" by improving their online social technologies.
It's not as simple as picking a service at random though. Businesses must select the services that fit with their company requirements, staff and culture. With so many options available, and more constantly entering the scene, there is likely to be something for you. Social technology companies spend a large amount of their revenue on research and development and these are always improving. With many services, a whole selection of social technologies are combined and if you need something individual, you can sometimes find a company that will create bespoke features.
Businesses have to also work to ensure that the software has the maximum levels of employee participation. Staff need to see your internal network as the routine place to store files and collaborate.
Sources: Blogging.org, Steljes, McKinsey & Company.