Social Enterprise Benefits for Midsizes
How can your midsize business become a more social enterprise, and why would you want to do it? The answer to the second question is easy - it's because a significant proportion of your potential customers are online, and while there they could be buying your product or service. Research from Pew Internet underscores this point and provides a compelling reason for why your business should get social now. How can you do it? There are several aspects to becoming more social. Here are a few to consider.
We are all familiar with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn but did you know that you could use similar social technologies to galvanize your midsize business? Wikis, blogs, and status updates are not just for external consumption; they can be used to streamline information flow and project management within the enterprise. Your IT administrator can help you to identify and install social business technologies that will improve internal communication and knowledge-sharing using technology that your employees are already familiar with. The result is a better-informed and more engaged workforce, and the technology gives the ability to harness creativity and implement innovation to increase your competitive advantage.
Harnessing Social Data
IT administrators within your midsize business can help you collect relevant business data from your customers' online interactions. A good business analytics solution will gather information on where your customers are most active, how they are responding to your marketing and sales initiatives, and what they are saying about your company. Not only can you manage your reputation, but you can improve customer service by increasing your ability to respond quickly to the issues customers raise. To make the best use of this data, IT administrators will have to strengthen systems for distributing information internally and improving collaboration, but the benefits are worth it.
Social Enterprise Benefits
Becoming more social pays off in helping your midsize enterprise to better achieve its strategic, tactical, and operational aims. Becoming more social doesn't mean that employees waste time online; in fact, it means that everyone is better informed about both data and strategy, leading to business benefits. The combination of integrating social technologies to improve your operational efficiency and harnessing social data to boost your knowledge base means that your business can be more competitive and more profitable.
IT administrators play an important role in enabling these operational improvements. Not only must they configure systems to make the data accessible to those who need it, but they must also educate users about how to customize analytics packages and create policies that keep your company data secure. Only then can your company reap the benefits of being a social business.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise, and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.