Why settle for weekly or monthly staff meetings when you could be collaborating on a daily basis? Social media savvy businesses are increasingly utilizing internal social networks, which promote increased employee collaboration and productivity while simultaneously minimizing costs.
What exactly is an internal social network? Imagine a platform such as LinkedIn or Facebook on a smaller scale, where access is restricted to your company and its employees. If you're one of the 700 million Facebook users, chances are you've shared pictures of your vacations and personal milestones with friends on Facebook; why not share pictures of your business trips and progress on important projects with co-workers on an internal network? Your friends comment on your tweets about life. Open a similar avenue of communication for your colleagues to comment on your status about ongoing or future projects.
Internal social networks allow co-workers to collaborate 24 hours a day, which supports increased productivity and enhanced communication. They also provide a more efficient way of communicating with large groups than email, as well as tools that enable you to track industry trends and news in real time. These networks are fabulous tools for the telecommuting crowd, and pair perfectly with nontraditional office solutions like virtual offices, incubators, and executive suites.
Ready-made internal social networking platforms are available for purchase and customization; Yammer (used by Procter & Gamble), Socialcast, and SelectMinds are a few. Linkedin also recently stated that they are considering offering the service. Companies such as Procter & Gamble, Google, and IBM are already using internal social networks--but perhaps the biggest perk of all is that you don’t have to be a corporate giant to take advantage of the benefits!