Technology & Social Media | Training & CPE

Social media: Passing fad or valuable tool?

Social media4 Remember when the Internet was first discovered (I won't say by whom) and e-mail was starting to replace fax machines?

Many businesses worried it would be a tremendous waste of time for their employees and said it would be a passing fad. They worried people would be watching porn or shopping all day and e-mailing the latest jokes to family and friends.

Fast forward to today. Every business deems the Internet an indispensable tool. Most would say they cannot survive without the Internet, a Web page and e-mail.

Well, that is where we are with social networking and business, according to The Economist magazine in a just-released special report on social networking.

The report, titled "A World of Connections," makes a strong business case for social networking that I have not seen before from the mainstream business world. Could this be the real tipping point for business adoption of social networking and Web 2.0?

If you need your people to collaborate or connect with customers and suppliers, or connect with others in your organization, then you need to rethink social media. I agree with Sir Tim Berners-Lee (founding father of the Internet and author of Weaving the Web) in his statement in the special report: "The ultimate goal (of the Internet) was to come up with something that, first and foremost, would make it easier to collaborate with one another."

Here are five major benefits that The Economist report says that social media (via the Web) has created:

  1. Trusted online venues where real people can meet up using their real identities.
  2. New ways for firms and organizations to reach their customers and those who influence them.
  3. Reduced friction in labor markets by allowing employers and prospective employees to find each other and connect.
  4. Faster information flow and communication inside companies and organizations.
  5. A "free and immensely powerful set of communication and collaboration tools to everyone on Earth who has access to a broadband internet connection."

Business is about people, which means business is social. This report makes the point that businesses need to rethink social networking from a whole new vantage point. This should provide good ammo for anybody trying to make the case for social media inside their organizations. Well done!

Read the special report, A World of Connections

Then sign up for our webcast on March 5th 12:30om - 2:20pm (EST)

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