Friday, July 31, 2015

Social Business Internal and External: Why Both Should Work Together

For years now companies have been trying to leverage the power of social for business benefits both inside and outside the organization. Internally the key drivers for social are business functions like HR and product development, and the users are employees of the organization. External social business is driven by marketing or sales and reaches out to customers and others who access social media online. These changes have had many positive effects on the world of business – but not all changes have been positive.

Learning has been without a doubt one of the area most positively affected by social. Learning has moved from the classroom to online and this is undergoing further transformation through interactive delivery mechanisms and adoption of social approaches to learning. File sharing, commenting, tagging, rewards and recognition, gamification are other features enhance the learning experience by sharing information and providing motivation to learners.

Skill building through learning programs is an ongoing activity for an organization in the knowledge industry; for example IT, financial services, research or consultancy. Social Business has changed the design of learning programs, learning methods, interaction and measurement of results. Participants to a learning program can now learn through communities and forums and keep updated on the trends within the community. Employees learn from each other and there is more knowledge sharing which has improved the effectiveness of learning.

As much as social business has been a positive force for change in the workplace, so too has it disrupted old models and forced companies to change their approach to marketing, customer service and more. Customers can take to social media to provide bad feedback about a product or service and cause damage to the company or brand in ways they couldn’t have before. There are many famous instances of negative posts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs which have gone viral. Social media is a very important channel for companies to address customer complaints and a proactive approach is required to monitor and respond to queries from customers. A strategic social media strategy that includes building a community of advocates is essential to counter the threat of bad buzz. Customer support for a company can use social media to enhance the feedback and loyalty of customers.    

The customer support team can use social business for their daily work, sharing knowledge, building skills, creating a knowledge base for support and so on. All these activities are internal to the organization but the results can be seen externally through better customer support and feedback, quicker resolution of issues and cost optimization.

To create a competitive advantage and stand out in the market companies need to make their social business initiatives work in sync and create a differentiator. In our example we saw how customer support can leverage learning to improve skills. Leading companies are differentiating themselves by delivering superior social experiences to employees and customers. It is time to look at your internal and external social business and start bridging the gaps. 

from Social Business Insights Blog

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