Friday, January 05, 2007

Social Media and Business

Most companies know about social networks, and have heard the terms social media and social software, but has it went any further than a buzz word for most? These tools are more than just a way for your teenage kids to spend more time talking to your friends, post their 'deep' thoughts or pictures online. The Net Savvy Executive has created a Social Media Midterm Exam. Now by the very fact that you are reading this post either online or through an RSS reader, already puts you ahead of the game, but pass it on to some others in your organization. It may get a needed discussion going - how these tools can be applied to making your business more effective. The first two questions alone should be enough to invoke the conversation:

  1. Describe each of the following:
    1. Blog
    3. Digg
    4. Flickr
    5. LinkedIn
    6. Mashup
    7. MySpace
    8. Podcast
    9. RSS
    10. Second Life
    11. Technorati
    12. Wikipedia
    13. YouTube
  2. How could you use each of the items from question 1 as a marketing tool? What are the risks associated with each?
Business often follows consumer trends with software, and typically for good reason, but its time to take a serious look. It doesn't mean that all will apply to your business, but with some innovative thinking you might be able to either make your current strategy more effective or open up new opportunities. Second, whether you use them or not other people are so you need to listen. Third, don't just think about your external interactions (eg marketing), think about uses internally for increasing efficiencies, building a better culture or relationship with your employees. Related to this - think about expectations of new employees. As consumer and business productivity software begin to blur, new employees will be expecting to have access to these types of productivity tools. It will not be sufficient for an 'innovative' company to just block access to youTube or state that they are not approved applications.

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