It’s pretty impressive how quickly social networking ― a concept first popularized in 2002 (Friendster, anyone? …anyone?) ― has become a normal, everyday experience for almost 1.2 billion people across the planet. “Sure,” you say, “obviously PEOPLE like social networking. But what about BUSINESSES? How do THEY feel about social networking?” Good question, and here’s the answer.
Businesses LOVE social networking.
Now, I could point out that businesses don’t technically “feel” or that many businesses are actually MADE UP of people and so, by the Transitive Property of Equality: Businesses LOVE social networking, too. Instead, I’ll simply point you to a July, 2013 Forrester Report in which analyst, Rob Koplowitz, found that: “60% of software decision-makers consider collaboration a ‘High’ or ‘Critical’ priority.”
Through his research, Koplowitz learned that enterprise social initiatives were being championed by “executives who feel that collaboration can drive long-term differentiation and from business users who are actively using self-provisioned tools like social networks…”
In Gartner’s 2013 report, “Critical Capabilities for Social Software in the Workplace,” the analyst firm also found increasing purchase intent, writing: “The market is transitioning from … a stand-alone destination social software site to one [with] social capabilities within the flow of work processes and projects.”
It’s no longer only about content.
So why are businesses suddenly so interested in Social? For one simple reason: Context. Getting work done in an organization with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees isn’t just about having the right content available, it’s about having that content in the right context. “At the most basic level, context focuses on the work to be performed, forcing attention on what applications are being integrated, which content is required, and who is involved in performing tasks.”— Gartner, Inc. Since most work is rarely a solitary enterprise (unless you’re a VCR repair person), knowing the Who, What, Where, and Why of any project is critical to getting things done quickly and efficiently.
Business productivity is about people.
Just for fun, consider how much work gets delayed — or stopped entirely — while the proper people are identified, looped in, and brought up to speed. Now imagine how much more work could be done if ALL the people, stakeholders, experts, discussion, and documents were connected where the actual work was being done? Forrester recommended that knowledge workers “should be able to reach out through the right communications channel … and to relevant communities through social channels.” Gartner even identified it as a trend: “Organizations are increasingly interested in using social software in the workplace technologies to connect employees and partners … to capture and reuse valuable informal knowledge; and to deliver relevant information where it is needed…”
More businesses are getting more done with ESNs.
Social context does a lot more than just speed up your workflow and help your company make better decisions. Context also helps Project Teams more easily coordinate product launches, presentations and reports. It makes your Social Intranet better suited to new personnel on-boarding, acquisition integration, and policy publishing. It lets your Social Extranet work more effectively with outside PR firms, agencies, and vendors. It helps your Community identify industry trends, best-practices, and improve customer support. And it can even helps accelerate Innovation through brainstorming and Town Hall sessions.
tibbr is the social network for work.
Yet for context to be truly useful, it has to be available everywhere your employees work — i.e., across all your company’s business apps. That’s why tibbr, as a neutral social platform, can integrate with any and all your business apps — even across Blackberry, iOS, Android, and Windows tablets — extending the benefits of context throughout your organization regardless of which apps or devices your people use. If you’d like to see what the tibbr Enterprise Social Platform can do for your productivity, click here for a free trial.