So you are a corporation and your workers are spending time on Facebook. What do you do? Do you shut down access? Do nothing? Develop acceptable use policies? Or order in pizza, get the gang together and figure out how social media fits in with your overall business strategy?
If you said the latter, move to the front of the line and consider yourself an innovative organization.
While there are many trying to figure out what social media means for their business, they should take note that this is just natural evolution. We have been there before. Many times.
History repeats itself. When the telephone became readily available, organizations had to figure out its role within its core business. Can you imagine a business today without a telephone? I think not. Let’s look at some great moments in technology evolution.
The telephone evolved into toll free lines. The photograph evolved into the photocopier. The telephone and the photocopier evolved into the fax. Census tract data and media measurement evolved into database and direct marketing. Electronic mail became e-mail and these to opt-in e-newsletters and tailored communications.
We only have to go back to 1995 when Netscape and Mosaic appeared on the scene. Most organizations questioned the value of the Internet. Now most believe if you are not on the Internet, you are not in business.
The Internet boom provides a good point of analogy – many got caught up in the “dot com” revolution. There were many pushing the capabilities of the technology without taking the time to understand the true business need.
Organizations should not be “dazzled” with social media. It is really just another business tool and channel for communication. A highly, cost-effective and efficient tool and channel at that.
The fact remains that social media is a technology. And the real challenge is to figure out how it fits in with an organization’s business strategy.
Social Media presents many opportunities for organizations. Internally for collaboration, building corporate culture and even using employee networks for recruitment, externally to build communities with customers and stakeholders, as well as garner “word of click” free marketing. It is boundless. What social media offers is true integration. We are seeing the merging of media, collaboration and community.
So instead of thinking about social media as an impediment to your business, think about it in terms of your fundamentals – goals, objectives and strategy – and leverage the opportunity to evolve and elevate your business.