3 important things you need to know about social collaboration

In the last ten years, a lot has changed regarding how we interact and communicate thanks to the social media phenomena. More and more social networks are coming up by the day and the personal gratification we are getting from such a lifestyle is debatable.

Businesses have a chance to make a difference in terms of sales, productivity, communication and how they interact with their customers. Unlike individuals, going social for businesses goes beyond setting up a few profiles on the major social media networks. Entrepreneurs need to go an extra mile and incorporate social collaboration for better results and communication in the organization.

Social collaboration is the future of businesses according to a 2016 study conducted by Forrester Consulting on the impact of Sap Jam Collaboration. The study concluded that companies are likely to record a return on investment aka ROI of 527% with the use of social collaboration tools. It also suggests that closing deals become faster by 9%, resolving customer issues would be more efficient by 10% and companies stand to cut its employee onboarding and training cost by a least 13%.

Let’s have a look at the most important things that you need to know about social collaboration.



Social collaboration is social media, knowledge sharing, and the community

Social collaboration revolves around the community, sharing information and using various tools to achieve a collective goal. There are different tools that you can use today such as video and photo sharing apps. As an entrepreneur, it would be wise to try and integrate business tools with social features that allow the the organization to share ideas and solve problems efficiently as a team. Most of these social collaboration tools work towards creating a community environment in the workplace, therefore, ensuring various professionals are at ease when handling certain aspects of the business.



Social collaboration requires accurate management

As a business owner or a manager, you need to be on your A-game when implementing social collaboration as some mistakes can cost the whole project. First of all, there is a need to identify and acknowledge the various employee personalities in the company. Since most businesses already have their own systems in place, it’s easy to identify the most popular ones and at the same time determine each employee’s favorite. However, the challenge is bringing all these channels together and make sure that they work out for everyone in the office and serve the collaboration purpose.

As a business owner, you need to ensure that your managers are always on their toes when it comes to managing the team members. Senior management should lead by example including consistently using said collaboration tools for effective communication and sharing of information- employees will naturally follow suit.




Social collaboration is a long-term commitment

As a business owner, you need to lay out a decent plan that will gradually bring your employees and customers up to speed in this digital endeavor. As you may already know, it will naturally take more than a year to change people, and as an entrepreneur, you need to be focused on the end goal and avoid being lost along the way. One of the most important aspects of social collaboration is trust, and you can never force it. In fact, the change process has six main steps which are: unaware, aware, understood, implemented, mastered and embedded.

It is necessary to put in place a seamless management process, and a seamless process requires the use of seamless collaboration tools.


Editor’s note on seamless collaboration:

Work processes are iterative and yet fluidity and flexibility are necessary in making it a truly seamless, effortless experience. Effective collaboration tools themselves are born in iteration for the purpose of iteration.

All collaboration tools go through an on-going process of constant improvement and what this means for companies using these tools is simply that everything is taken care of, and that your needs are anticipated and provided for in the long run. Companies including the big players like as Nike and SONY use collaboration software tools; NASA uses Slack to have on-going conversations that are easily trackable.

Transparency within organizations is now an undeniably necessary ethic to adopt for tasks to be carried out faster and smoother as digital time used on mobile has also finally exceeded that of desktop usage.

There is incredible power in the act of communication, conversation and collaboration in how we do things today.




Forrester Consulting