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Social media: a business case

Published on Thursday, 19 June 2008
Too often the phenomena of social media and social networking is considered a detractor to business processes as part of overall staff morale and focus. Staff are employed to work and produce revenue for the company, not to be part of a social structure.

Yet this business mentality goes against expected psychosocial behaviour. When people congregate in a group, or are assigned to work as a team or department on a specific task, typical cognitive and social processes such as groupthink occur. To leverage these cognitive and social processes effectively helps increase business efficiency. Therefore there are grounds for a potential business case for enterprises to adopt social media and social networking.
Let me start with an example.

This morning I found out about the drive by Apple to have its Cocoa application pervasive across all potential platforms - Mac, Linux and Windows. This is a continuing direction by Apple itself to use standards based technology, such as HTML and CSS, to deliver well designed applications to their end users through iTunes, Safari and Quicktime. Sproutcore is a good idea, not only because of its cross platform potential, but because it uses the existing, industry best practice tools to deliver a product that works.

I found this information out from one of my Facebook friends in the web/applications industry in Melbourne. They found out about it from a Twitter feed. So overall information share has increased. This means Absalom Media can provide better technical direction on the way the web is going to our clientele. It also opens up a possible new revenue platform if we decide to capitalise on it.

Business information is increased through social media. Without these networks and these tools, clientele will be sold short on what is effective web strategy based on leading edge technologies. I've seen it happen time and again where a developer delivers an application to a client that is based on code and design principles that are out of date.

So social media can challenge the existing design and developer pool to excel, to change, to grow and to adapt to new ways of thinking and delivering products.

Social media is a form of support as well. It can help provide support channels that would not otherwise exist, or merely mirror what is being done in offline behaviour through an online environment.

Whilst there have been some issues regarding staff focus for social networking, the increase in business knowledge and business core competencies is a good thing and something that should be welcomed. Why ? Because at the end of the day, customers will be delivered a better product, based on staff having better morale through social networking for their organisation, their peers and their friends.

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