Maximize the Value of Your Enterprise Social Software

You learned all about enterprise social software and understood it could provide your business with exceptional value.  You’ve had a platform installed, but now, for reasons you aren’t sure of, it just isn’t quite providing the results you want.  Relax – few products are ever implemented perfectly at the outset.  A few unexpected wrinkles will always appear, but they aren’t the end of the world.

After all, enterprise social networking is a relatively new concept, and not every company is sure how it will work best within their current business environment.  Here are some methods for improving the value your business derives from an internal social network:

Increasing interest.  At first, people are excited about anything new, and they make full use of it.  But then, interest quickly fades away at some companies.  Why?  Typically, executives don’t get involved with the tool themselves, while other organizations haven’t clearly defined how such a tool enhances business outcomes.

The solution?  Make sure your executive leadership increases involvement – have your CEO post a motivational quote each day for starters. Hold meetings with key personnel to more clearly outline how a social network will further business goals.

Ensure full integration with current software.  Truly effective enterprise social software integrates with software you currently have in place.  Employees become annoyed when they have to keep several windows open and switch from window to window to perform different tasks.

Integrate all your company’s current tools with your social network, and watch your employee interest and productivity shoot through the roof.

Develop appropriate strategies for all departments.  Another challenge your organization can face with its social network involves uneven usage across the company.  While the IT department may have already bought in and mastered effective use of this tool, accounting may be wondering why it’s even necessary.  It can help accounting – have they developed a knowledge base for various issues people within the department encounter?

Be sure to fully analyze all the different ways in which a social network could benefit each department of your organization. Then share this information with each department so they are aware of precisely how enterprise social software can help.

Involve telecommuting workers.  While telecommuters previously functioned in a highly independent fashion, they can now function much more like your on-site employees. Through the instant or real-time sharing of video, text and imagery, off-site workers can be more involved in the day-to-day on-site operations of the company.

By involving telecommuting workers, not only do they feel a much stronger sense of belonging, but that sense of belonging also leads to them investing more of themselves in the company and making bigger contributions to the team.  Consider how much value that could add to your business.

These challenges are some of the common ones faced by many companies today.  The bottom line is enterprise social software contributes significantly to your company’s profitability when implemented properly.  If your business is struggling in making effective use of its social software, which of these solutions could be the game-changer?

If you found this article beneficial, you might also like The Progress of Enterprise Social Technology.