When the social technologies were launched, they took the world by storm, reaching hundreds of millions of users in less than three years. This made television pale in comparison since it took more than ten years to reach 50 million users.
What does this say for business? It means that IT is the way to go, that marketing through IT is more efficient than using television. Many people today are bound to spend more hours online on the social media networks and just a few hours watching television. Today, businesses are deriving most of their value from information technology. This means that every business, whether it is a startup or an established firm, must have an in-house IT team or use the services of an IT consultant.
But just what do we mean by social technologies and how do they increase business value? Social technology is about the way people communicate. For example, everyone responds to an email every now and then, thus meaning that email creates a social interaction between employees, customers and the company at large.
Now, just suppose that this email is used in such a way that it can draw important information from the employees, valuable information that could give the managers important insights that would help them implement their strategies. This would be awesome, and that is what social technology for business is all about.
Unlocking the potential that is in social technologies
During the Arab Spring Uprising that started in Tunisia, the participants would converge, plan and execute plans through the social media, mostly using Facebook. If social media can cause unparalleled political unrest in the Arab world, what more could it do for marketing your products and services?
Today, when a new, robust and life changing product is released into the market, it creates waves on social media. How? By getting people to talk about it. But having people talk about your business is nothing, and anyway, anyone can create a Facebook page and invite people to like it. However, the most important thing is to generate valuable leads from the communication happening on the social technologies. And this is where the expertise of a good IT team comes in.
Your business needs a way to gather important data from the social technologies, data that can be processed to give important leads, which will in return be pursued to bring more monetary value to the business. Where will all the data that is gathered be stored? How safe will it be? How will the data be analyzed so that it makes sense and be passed down to the sales and marketing departments to make use of it? These and more questions can best be answered by a well-experienced IT team.
Integrating social features with the digital platforms
Your users, clients, employees and customers will access different your company’s systems using different devices. For example, some will use mobile phones, others will use PCs and others tablet computers. The data generated by all these devices should be gathered and processed to make sense. For example, if the data analysis shows that a person has visited a product page three times, it could mean they are seriously interested in that product. Thus, if a social feature like instant messaging has been built on the product page, a sales assistant will message the visitor and offer help.
Technology can also enhance the productivity of the employees and what’s more, it has made even working from home a possibility. Thus, today, if an employee suffers a disability, he can still keep up at work with the rest of the team through social technology features like chat rooms, instant messaging, Skype and many others. This means that a company does not have to hire a replacement just because an employee has suffered temporary disability.
Hire only the best employees
The role of social technology in adding business value is too big, because it extends to the human resource department as well. Today, we have social networks that are dedicated to bringing professional in different fields together. Thus, today, when companies are looking for high quality talent, their first stop is the LinkedIn network. This makes hiring new talent faster and more efficient.
By ensuring that your company has a presence on social media, you make it easy for potential employees to find you. The most reputable companies attract the best talents. Thus, the IT team will help push the company brand online, create a presence and generally ensure that the brand reputation is intact.
Is there anyone who still thinks that IT does not add any direct business value? Sure, IT is a cost, but a very necessary one as it makes all other things possible. The entire world rides on IT today, because of the value that information technology brings.