Two heads (or more) are better than one

While many of you still are sorting out how to incorporate social media into your online marketing (AT&T’s 2012 Small Business Technology Poll indicated that as of last year, your use of Facebook was at 44 percent and Twitter only 18 percent), you’re now being advised to  adopt social networking tools to connect your employees.

Unlike a company intranet, which offers one-way communication; private social networks, such as Jive and Yammer, enable  an ongoing real-time conversation among your team.  If you’ve been wondering what a private social network can do for your business, here are some things to consider.

By being part of their ‘own community,’ employees can communicate and collaborate more easily, which in turn enhances productivity. In practical terms, several employees can be working on one project at the same time, sharing their ideas and updating each other through posts. The process is more efficient than sending documents and comments back and forth across email or sending instant messages.

Even better, with a private social network, you have the advantage of drawing on the collective knowledge of co-workers to better problem solve. When a question comes in from a customer or prospect and you don’t have the answer, you can ask others in the organization. They can reply with comments or documents or provide a link to information on the web.

While it’s easy to launch a web, audio or video conference today – even using a mobile device and a headset — geographically dispersed employees can converse as if they were in the same office across  your private social network.

There are management benefits as well:

  • Feedback: Rather than waiting until a project is complete, you can provide feedback while a project is progressing.
  • Supervision: Through social network posting, you can stay on top of a project through each phase of its development.
  • Training: The most knowledgeable people in your company can be available anytime to share their knowledge and insight in real-time and stick with a trainee throughout the learning process.

In the long run, private social networks foster a team-based mentality that can over time take your company to a new level. Out of ongoing collective thinking, new ideas are born, which can help to open new markets, produce new products and better service customers.  We all know two heads are better than one. Think of the possibilities when even more are connected and collaborating all the time.