This week we discussed letting go of the baggage when moving from social media to social business, social web strategy and keeping up with the external enterprise.
We've hopped around from 'Web 2.0' to 'Social Media' to 'Enterprise 2.0' to our current spot on the 'Social Business' train, keeping all of our baggage in tow.
And that's the problem.
If we really want to see the same kind of effectiveness in the work place that we've seen in the consumer space, it's time to ditch some old habits. This week we have four essential ways to make your business a social business. Here are some teasers:
- Respect Time Management: I could be on Facebook all day. In fact, most Saturdays and Sundays I am. But if I'm on [insert your social business app of choice] all of my work day, how would I ever get anything else done?
- Manage, Refine the Volume Controls: One nice thing about consumer social networks is that your engagement can vary across the full spectrum — from full time maniac, to lurker, to zero engagement. There's no pressure, and it's up to you to decide when or if you feel like participating. But of course, this probably doesn't fly in the workplace.
- Differentiate Between Networks and Communities: The key issue here is one of definition. While in the past the words community and network have been used interchangeably, recent social business times call for a bit of differentiation.
- Focus Small, Strategic Successes: While Facebook is sitting happy and increasingly fatter with its 750+ million users, applying the same formula — the larger the number of participants the better — to a business atmosphere can be a colossal mistake.
For many marketers, cross-channel marketing on the social web has been a dizzying, ad hoc and all-too-often unmeasured experiment. What many don’t understand is that the social web offers the greatest marketing opportunities we have ever seen, so it’s time to get serious.
But instead, marketers are defaulting to a Facebook-only strategy — carving out a few dollars to create a fan page, getting a college intern to manage it and telling the CEO that they’ve got social covered.
The real recipe for success isn’t as complicated as some may think, and it works equally well in the B2C space as it does in B2B business models:
- One Part Facebook
- One Part Social Web
- Three Parts Community
- One Part Measurement
The enterprise collaboration kids over at Socialcast made some significant changes to their platform this week. In addition to a few handy new features, external collaboration is now a focus point for the company.
The process is pretty straightforward: When a user creates a new collaboration group, he or she simply checks a box to make it “External facing:"
Those invited to the group will be able to log in and use the Socialcast platform just the way a regular employee would, except they'll only have access to the information within that group. Meanwhile, internal users accessing the group will see a warning that it is external facing, and anything they post could be seen by external contributors.
The move makes Socialcast's bundle of business tools available for the likes of contractors, partners, suppliers, etc. The feature is highly useful and flexible, allowing users to invite external participation from pretty much anyone, but still supports control over data privacy.
YouSendIt has been doing secure file transfer and storage long before it became a trendy cloud service. Now, its new launch is ready to compete with the likes of DropBox and others.
YouSendIt has been helping businesses and users send large files to improve collaboration since back in 2004, and has steadily raised around US$ 50 million in funding over time to expand its user base and infrastructure. Now, with revenues already at US$ 25 million a year, it's taking the mobile route with its new service to appeal to all the DropBox generation.
Users can now share their files from a cloud storage facility, via a file-sending utility for Windows desktops or iPhone users that comes in three flavors. The free account offers 2GB of storage, Pro comes with 5GB for $9.99 per month and the high-end ProPlus offers unlimited storage at $14.99. Accounts also come with a number of signatures that you can use to digitally sign (literally, you can write on a touch screen or sign it with your mouse) documents to ensure their validity.