Social Media, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud Computing – called SMAC seem to be emerging as the hot favourites for enterprises to transform into the enterprises of the future. Analysts and all predictions are urging enterprises not to look at each of them in isolation, but look at how a strategy which harnesses the power of all 4 simultaneously has the ability to transform an enterprise truly to distinguish itself from competition.
I am writing a series on the individual components of the SMAC stack and its effect on enterprises. The first one is on the effect on social networking and its effect on enhancing employee collaboration within an enterprise and also how it helps develop an alternate distribution channel to reach its customers.
According to an analysis of 4,200 companies by the McKinsey Global Institute, social technologies stand to unlock between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion of value by 2016. Social media can deliver a surprising boost to productivity, customer development, collaboration with partners, product design, branding and reputation-management across global organizations.
Workplace productivity is the key to success in any enterprise and ensures that all deliverables are completely on time. Employers must start to look at social media sites as a success tool for their business. The uses of social media platforms have the potential to increase productivity and the way employees perform their daily tasks at work.
I know many enterprises keep wondering the ROI from implementing a social collaboration tool. What are the benefits? But from research conducted by leading research agencies have established that companies who have implemented internal social networks provide multiple benefits, including giving employees a stronger voice, helping them pool and share information, and strengthening company culture. It is easier for employees to collaborate as one can post questions or comments, share information and collaborate from around the world in real time. Hence helps with knowledge sharing and also ensures that the interactions are searchable, so one can pull up past discussions, data and more. This frees up your employees to do actually what you have hired them to do.
A classic example – In a pharma company the biggest challenge is the shrinking drug pipeline and the block buster drugs are also going off the patent block. How can you get your R&D pipeline spread across the world (thanks to acquisitions and globalization) to be productive and collaborating real-time? How can you empower this team with the right tools? There comes the need for social collaboration tools which encourages knowledge sharing and connecting people in real-time. This helps create an ecosystem of people and information to reduce cost structures and speed time to market with respect to drug discovery.
The other interesting trend we get to see is that – with multi-generation households, enterprises have realised that social media is a channel cannot be ignored. Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old – 96% of millennials have joined a social network. This is generation that would like to confer, read reviews and then make their purchases. Hence companies are increasing adopting social media as a channel. Social media helps launch additional product offerings; upsell and cross sell into existing customers, provide proactive customer service, receive real-time product feedback, and also get differentiation through multiple channel offering. A good social media strategy helps enterprises understand what their customer is thinking, and use that knowledge to improve their business, their people and their process.
Hence for an enterprise, the bigger its social media presence, the more it allows one to tap into selling and collaboration opportunities across multiple platforms to augment a client’s message. Facebook allows businesses to learn about their target audiences and understand their interests and friends. Businesses can also enlist their Facebook community to help crowd-source a new product or idea. The strength of an enterprise doing what its best at combined with a strong social networking platform is a very powerful combination.
Well a classic example of how to connect with customers and help create a brand that resonates with all your target audience. A bank with no physical branches, ING DIRECT has always been an innovative player within the financial services industry. Canada’s leading direct bank since 1997, ING DIRECT recently averted a potential PR crisis by harnessing the full potential of social media. How?
On the afternoon of April 2, 2013, the company’s social media team received a Tweet from a Twitter user alerting them that somebody was sending out text messages in a phishing scam targeting ING customers. “ING Bank member alert!” the fake text shouted urgently, guiding recipients to call a provided phone number to “remove restrictions” placed on their credit cards—by disclosing highly confidential banking and personal information.
ING Text ScamING’s social media team and other departments worked together quickly. Internally, the news travelled through the company at lightening speed. The first public service announcement to warn clients was sent out from ING DIRECT’s social service Twitter account a few minutes after the initial alert, and within the hour a similar mass tweet was sent to all of its major social media channels. By using social media they were able to respond with the speed that we did or alert as broad of an audience as quickly as we did
Social Networking is here to stay and enterprises which will harness its power will be able to get that edge over competition. All Large enterprises like – Unilever, Henkel, etc, large government agencies, pharma companies, airports, banks have also embraced and reaping benefits of social media. Have you?
Source: ING direct story – more can found at – http://blog.hootsuite.com/ing-direct-social-media/