Social Media Companies: 3 non-obvious ways social media will impact big companies
In many (perhaps most) big companies, we are past the point of debating why we should do social media and more often wondering how we can do social media well.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that many organizations are making it much more about the media than it is about the social, using traditional incentives and rote communications crumbs cast off from dusty email newsletters.
Smart companies recognize that social media is about a lot more than a Facebook page and that understanding how to BE social is the key to success , more so than worrying how to DO social.
The companies committed to baking sociability into all corners of the operation (what we often call “social business design” these days) will find social media providing three big, non-obvious impacts in the coming years:
1. Internal Social Communication
The use of social networking for internal information dissemination, team-building, and knowledge capture and transfer can become the norm, not the exception. As operating cultures continue to pick up speed, big businesses will turn to internal social networks (the new Intranets) to build connections between far-flung team members.
2. Widely Distributed Participation
Social networking can potentially make everyone in the company a part of marketing. Social media and social networking are unique in that employees and customers use the same tools to communicate in their personal lives as the company is trying to use professionally.
Employees aren’t making TV commercials at night, or designing magazine ads on the weekend. However, they are using social networks to interact with family and friends, and businesses are trying to play in the same space. The upside is that every employee can potentially be a way to expand the reach of the company’s message.
Harnessing the personal social graph of employees who volunteer to occasionally talk about the company in social networks is a huge opportunity for large organizations.
3. Business Intelligence
The business intelligence potential of social networking will be widely distributed and decentralized throughout the organization. Instead of a “social media center of excellence” using listening tools to determine what’s being said about the company, these functions will be decentralized, with business units at the product and geographical level conducting their own highly focused listening and analysis programs. This will increase speed and data relevancy across the entire operation.
Sure, you can use social media to engage your fans and provide customer service. But it can also provide so much more. Are you looking for ways to take social media beyond the obvious?
Jay Baer, coauthor of, The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social, will be a keynote speaker at MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2011 in Boston and San Francisco, and every attendee will receive a copy of the book.