How does social media fit into your organization? Perhaps you think of it as part of IT, part of Marketing, or maybe it’s what the intern does. But social technologies can bring tremendous value to all aspects of a business in ways you may not have considered. “Four areas—marketing, innovation, operations, and leadership—are where social business is creating significant opportunity and, for some companies, significant value,” according to an article printed in MIT Sloan Management Review.
Examples from the article:
- Lego uses a website to solicit ideas from customers that are reviewed quarterly.
- Capital One uses private Facebook groups to share articles and ideas within a collaboration team.
- Nationwide Mutual Insurance used an internal collaboration forum to solve a customer’s unique problem within 30 minutes by connecting the call center to product claims and underwriting departments (people previously unconnected to problem-solving opportunities).
Go beyond building a Facebook page and setting up a Twitter feed and consider how your organization can take advantage of social business. Here are the four areas specified as having tremendous potential:
- New communication channels
- Improve relationship with customers
- Identify shifts in customer preferences
- Product fan sites increase visibility of highly satisfied customers and influencers
- Source new ideas from engaged customers
- Refine existing products and services
- Bringing new knowledge into an organization
- Enable existing knowledge to flow within an organization
- Increase operational efficiency and performance
- Facilitate communication between geographically dispersed employees
- Put the large amount of available data to use for strategic decision-making
- Anticipate occurrences that will require change
- Monitor and analyze comments related to customer service
- Extend reach to connect quickly and easily with the front-line employees