86 percent of marketers said social media was pivotal for business.

Social Image 

Social networks were new and novel less than a decade ago, but these days their presence is ubiquitous. Businesses have been capitalizing on their marketing and PR power for years now over the Internet. The 2013 Social Media Examiner Report found that 86 percent of marketers said social media was pivotal for business, with 89 percent of those surveyed stating that increased visibility was the top benefit, leading to more business traffic, leads and sales.

Beyond Social Media Marketing

However, social networking benefits for businesses don’t stop there; the capacity of social feeds within a company's internal intranet system allows for a range of additional positive effects. A social feed along with social Q&A tools that can be pulled into the feed offer a myriad of internal company perks and benefits. Communication is enhanced immediately, and positive connections fostered. This capacity can greatly benefit the morale and internal structures of companies. The social intranet has become an essential tool for businesses in facilitating staff collaboration and improved performance.

International businesses like Bloomberg, MasterCard, JP Morgan Chase, Deloitte and Citi Group are just a sampling of the companies that have adopted this technology. Email as the sole inter-office communication method is now considered an outdated tool that actually costs companies thousands per user each year, with less than half of all business emails actually being used for inter-office informational purposes.

A More Social and Collaborative Workplace

Social feeds via company intranets are the new wave of success, interaction and productivity. A range of tools within the system including blogs, discussion forums, # and @tagging, crowd-sourcing tools, and Q&A capacity can all make a company intranet a dynamic force for keeping employees on the same page and driving business success. Company intranets are also becoming more intelligent and intuitive. Just as search engines like Google get to know a user’s news, browsing and shopping preferences and begin to deliver more relevant content, a company intranet has the potential to do the same. This in turn keeps users more engaged with their jobs, fellow employees and with the business itself.

The most successful intranets increase the performance and productivity of employees. They support an innovative workforce that stays engaged and excited about their workplace, as well as more agile and receptive when it comes to organizational change. Personalization of the system to individual employees can make it even more effective. A survey by the Chartered Institute of Marketing found 93 percent of business respondents believed a quality, intuitive intranet was directly responsible for a more innovative business and work climate. The more features and processes align with existing workflow, the greater the productivity.

The ideal intranet effectively addresses the communication objectives of an organization while also providing personalized service to its users. In this way, it can boost business intelligence while streamlining and enhancing processes and practices.

An effective intranet with a social feed can help to provide:

1. Contact and Location Information

A dynamic, searchable directory with detailed profiles of all employees as well as business department and location information can be easily compiled and shared. Access can be tailored to each user in accordance with relevance and business security.

2. Valuable, Relevant Web Content

Information specific to key business sectors, people and departments can be extremely valuable and readily shared. News, events, financial insights and competitor activity can all be rapidly distributed via an intranet social function, and employees can easily contribute to the feed.

3. Internal Updates and Resources

Internal signposts, links and content can be shared instantly between staff members and departments. Updates can be distributed and received via RSS, mobile or email based upon employee profile.

4. Shared Collaborative Tools

Tools that facilitate easier and more effective collaboration can be readily shared and accessed via an intranet with social feeds.

5. Access to Key Documents and Applications

Links to data, documents and key business applications related to operations and compliance can be shared via a company-wide intranet with social feed and Q&A capacity.

An intranet with a social feed offers a wealth of key benefits. From smoother business functioning to better communication and collaboration, a more connected workplace is possible. In terms of consistency, smoother operations, increased efficiency and a more cohesive business brand, it can improve a business exponentially.

An intranet with a social feed can directly contribute to business success in the following ways:

1. Clarifying Roles

A social feed can assist with reflecting employee roles, duties, interests and upcoming projects. Users can share content dynamically and become known to one another even without consistent offline interaction. Users get a better sense of their own roles within the whole as well as the function of other users in the network.

2. Facilitate Faster Learning

Staff updates, company news and upcoming rollouts can all be shared instantaneously via an intranet with social feeds. Innovative tools and practices can be easily shared and distributed, and users can have access to content in a faster manner with an intuitive navigational structure. A Q&A capacity can allow for even more effective learning and staying up to speed.

3. Effective Collaboration

Collaboration among individuals, work groups and departments is made much easier and more effective with an optimized intranet with social feeds. Projects will be completed more efficiently and with a greater sense of staff connection and synergy.

4. Improved Training Practices

When new systems or procedures are implemented, a company-wide social feed over the intranet can assist with getting all users on boarded more rapidly and effectively.

5. Higher Consistency and Quality

A social feed can help with establishing content governance so that usability and quality can be sustained in all areas. Adherence to standards and best practices as well as a more consistent user experience are naturally facilitated as well.

6. Higher Staff Morale and Engagement

An intranet with a social feed can assist in helping all employees to feel included in business growth and developments. This in turn raises their morale and level of positive engagement with the company. A more positive work environment, increased staff loyalty and a reduction in employee turnover is another natural result.

7. A More Unified Employee Identity

Busy staff members and departments can sometimes begin to feel disconnected with one another; in a sense, the right hand does not know what the left is doing. However, with a company-wide intranet with a social feed and ongoing Q&A functioning, communication is optimized and all staff can more readily stay on the same page, aligned with the company brand and mission.

Companies with a dynamic and intuitive intranet with a social dimension will facilitate higher productivity, greater innovation, more streamlined working practices, and ultimately a greater strategic advantage long-term. Communication is improved exponentially, and the business can run as a well-oiled machine.

The technology of a company-wide intranet offers a range of key benefits that assist in the company’s ability to grow and thrive. Employees naturally become more engaged with each another and with the business on many important levels. This structure facilitates connections both personally and professionally, and this genuine communication and connection is key to a strong, vibrant and successful business future.

Social/Social Q&A in elcomCMS

In elcomCMS V10 our Social and Social Q&A modules received over 10 great enhancements including multi-threaded conversations, the ability to join and leave public groups and your social connections, plus social groups will now show up in site searches if you want them to. The WYSIWYG editors will also allow you to select and find people so that you can reference them within your content. Moderation has also had some great new features added to the social field.

elcomCMS Social

Take the power of social networking into your intranet or portal, for a truly social and collaborative environment. Gain access to:

  • My Page: a Facebook-like corporate interface allowing users to invite other site members to share status updates, information and post comments.
  • Groups: both private and public, great for targeting conversations around a certain topic, project or idea.
  • User activity feeds: quickly view the activity of any user within elcomCMS.
  • Social feeds: supporting conversation threading, moderation, inline searching, people picker - allowing quick linking to a user's profile and more.
  • Rebranded, personalized space: to meet your branding and marketing requirements.
  • And much more!

elcomCMS Social Q & A

Takes the power of crowdsourcing and makes it available for your community or intranet environment. Ask questions, view unanswered questions, share knowledge, vote for the best answers and provide a self-service knowledge environment.

Intranet Success Whitepaper

Other recommended articles

Education Portal Development: 5 Key Insights

Here are five key insights about education portal development that will help you launch (or relaunch) a compelling portal for your own school community.

Intranet Content Management and Strategy: What You Need to Know

Content is king. Without relevant, valuable, up-to-date and easy to find content, intranet's become ghost towns. Here what you need to know about intranet content strategy and management.

Is Your Intranet Driving Internal Communications?

Is your intranet driving or hindering internal communications, collaboration and productivity?

Build skilled project teams via your intranet

In this guest post, Kim Jones outlines how to use your intranet to maximize the skills and expertise already available inside your organization.