Last week I attended the Melbourne Business User Group (MBug), which reported on the impacts of social media to business and raised some very interesting and thought-provoking ideas. One of the speakers noted that 40% of Fortune 500 companies in the year 2000 were no longer in the Fortune 500 in the year 2010. In commenting on this statistic, one of the speakers alluded to how social media has played a fundamental role in this shift as well as how companies that fail to appropriately foster a healthy use of social mediums both within their organisations and as a way of enhancing their brand perception will continue to slide in their entrepreneurialism.
This is certainly a challenging message to convey to some business executives, many of whom don’t utilise social networks and find it difficult to see any benefit they might offer their businesses. One of the attendees explained that they perceived Twitter as nothing more than a “gossip feed,” and another was concerned that improper use of social media could have devastating impacts on their business, such that they have formulated the business directive to steer away from it altogether. This is an understandable objection for a business executive, whose intentions are to ensure the ongoing prosperity of his or her business.
Yet, on the other hand, some argued that by preventing the use of social media within an organisation, you aren’t fully harnessing your potential for collaboration, thought innovation, and entrepreneurialism. This is what separated many of the most successful businesses at the beginning and at the end of the last decade.
Some also argued that, by allowing them to utilise social media, employees feel empowered, because it shows that their organisation cares about their insights, opinions, and wider interests.
With Microsoft’s emphasis on the social enterprise – including features built into Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and built upon by software vendors including AvePoint partner NewsGator – it will be interesting to see how businesses continue to embrace or shun social media, because it’s clearly here to stay.
What are your thoughts on social media in the enterprise? Let me know in the comments below! And be sure to visit AvePoint’s social media page to find out how you can connect with us today!