The latest unifying social trend that we are seeing at the moment is the ALS ice bucket challenge. Springing up in the space of just a few weeks, it has garnered global interest and now it is hardly possible to not know about it. It has raised awareness for a great cause and has helped to share important information about ALS, resulting in a wave of donations towards beating this disease. This has all been made possible through digital technology and social media.
In the digital age we are witnessing the power of the Internet and social media to spread important and meaningful messages instantaneously. They can take many forms; words, pictures, videos, and yet it is the power of social connectivity through digital that breathes life into them, and gives them the reach and power to connect and unite people.
The ALS ice bucket challenge may be the latest social media message to go viral, and it really is a great cause, but it is by no means the first. During the World Cup this year we witnessed a staggering social media engagement. Facebook announced that there were 3 billion interactions — Likes, comments, posts — from 350 million users throughout the entire World Cup, and Twitter announced that users shared 672 million tweets related to the World Cup throughout the tournament.
Social media platforms and other internet based real-time communication and sharing tools are empowering us to connect with everyone, everywhere, instantly sharing and assimilating knowledge and information. This is a world of unprecedented accessibility to almost anything and social media is the platform through which everything can be shared.
How does this digital social trend affect business?
This is a big question at the moment. Yes social media is empowering for building meaningful connections and provides instant sharing capabilities, but how does a business derive value from this. This I see as a two pronged approach as social can be both internal and external.
An effective external social media presence carries the usual social gains of sharing and in addition drives towards greater brand exposure. The other great factor of a social media presence for a business is to provide a platform for clients and potential clients to engage with the business. Therefore you provide a platform for the business to mark itself as a thought leader, start informative discussions and interact with customers.
Internally there are almost too many benefits to list. The corporate social network is no longer just a hot trend, it is now recognized as a part of the digital productivity suite that can support greater business success. Just some of the benefits are:
- Improved communication between geographically disparate employees
- Increased ease of knowledge transfer within the organization
- Promote innovation through quick and simple focused project/interest groups
- Help people find each other by name and skillset
- Breakdown barriers between organizational units
- Provide a forum for employee feedback & highlighting excellence
- Reduced mailbox overload
- Give leadership teams a pulse on the business via views & hot topics
- An on-boarding tool for new employees
- Improved internal communication and allow the sharing of relevant industry and professional news
With the huge effect social media is having across the world and all the potential benefits it holds within the enterprise, it's time to start putting it to even greater use to increase business productivity. To find out more about effective corporate social networks and how this transformative technology could be supporting your business, you can download our whitepaper below.