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When most companies think about their social media presence they tend to focus on the external facing aspect of the medium – that is how they can use it to interact with (and advertise to) their consumers. However, many businesses fail to realise that the internal applications of social media can be just as instrumental in their success or failure.
An internal social media presence can be invaluable to any business as it offers tremendous scope for improving profitability, brand identity and workforce efficiency. Because internal social media provides you with a direct and interactive channel of communication with your entire workforce, you can monitor, drive and amend your corporate strategy quickly and easily to make sure that all your staff are constantly aware of your overriding corporate vision.
The open flow of communication that an internal social media network provides allows you to ensure that specific employees or teams are constantly kept up to date on corporate initiatives, as well as providing you with real time feedback about how successfully these initiatives are being implemented.
Internal social media can also be extremely useful in terms of problem solving and idea generation. Employees working on the frontline of your business will often have a far better idea of the problems that both they and your customers face on a daily basis, and an internal social media network allows them to easily raise awareness of these issues and also suggest potential solutions. Opening up channels of communication throughout the workforce is an easy way to boost company morale by perpetuating the message that every member of the company matters.
Internal social media democratises your companies communication network by allowing even the lowliest member of staff the ability to communicate with colleagues at all levels. This not only saves managers hours of extra work, but increases the feeling among your workforce that they are valued stakeholders in the business they work for, empowering them and boosting staff productivity and morale.
An internal network creates a great opportunity to for business leaders to show that they are interested in the opinions of their staff and creates a tangible sense of community among all levels of employee. This sense of community is bolstered by the fact that an internal network provides employees with a means to interact with their fellow employees and discover common interests within and outside the company. They say that the family that plays together stays together, and this is equally applicable for a corporate family – having a connected workforce will improve both your business’s employee morale and increase your workforce retention.
Your workforce is your greatest asset, and if you’re not maximising their contribution to your business then you’re not maximising the potential of your business. Of course, if it were that simple to set up an effective internal social media network then every business would have already done it, so it’s worth looking into hiring a professional organisation to guide you through the process and help you to avoid common pitfalls. Social media strategy companies like Panther (www.socialmediastrategy.org.uk) can provide your business with advice and services that cover every aspect of your company’s social media and online presence and help you to get the most out of your most valued assets.