Social media is changing the concept of communication from two way to multi-way. We no longer commentate, we take part in the discussion.
How can we harness social media to drive competitive advantage in organisations?
As a researcher it is my job to gather and analyse knowledge, and never has there been so much, so easily available as in the new social media age. I just spent 10 minutes on my Linkedin page (invaluable when it came to linking up with several of the authors of our new Insight report Harnessing social media for organisational effectiveness). Then I checked Twitter to see what’s happening in my world before replying to a message posted by a colleague who has moved on and wanted help with a research question. I can do all these things from my desk, home or – via my smart phone - on the move. But is it work? Certainly social media is responsible for blurring the line between work and play, but it also brings us instant access to knowledge and the means to make our opinions known. Social media is changing the concept of communication from two way to multi-way. We no longer commentate we take part in the discussion and if you are not in it you’re dumb!
Some might think the biggest problem is making sure the workers aren’t idling away the hours on their facebook page. Actually that’s the least of our problems. A policy on the use of social media at work might be useful to clarify but good management is around embracing social media for best advantage not banning it. And that’s exactly why we scoured Linkedin and Twitter for bloggers and commentators who could give us some insight on how to harness social media to drive competitive advantage in organisations. How to embrace and make the most of the changes it’s bringing in the way we communicate with employees, customers, the communities we serve and indeed the world!
One way to harness social media is around building better networks for knowledge exchange, creation and capture - social media can transform the way we work by enabling document sharing and input to projects from just about any location, however remote. Another is around getting better access to customer conversations, finding out what is interesting people and getting a finger on the pulse to help drive innovation in product design and delivery. A third way is around engaging with employees, enabling them to have a voice and getting multiple perspectives from both the front line and the strategic level.
The consensus is that social media has transformed communication and is likely to go on doing so. It brings with it both enormous challenges around managing brand, reputation and risk but also enormous opportunities enabling organisations to have real and instant dialogue with all their stakeholders. Perhaps the biggest challenge now is to use that dialogue purposefully. Over the coming weeks our contributors will be adding their own comments and insights but in the meantime CIPD’s new Insight report Harnessing social media for organisational effectiveness is only available to those members who complete their membership renewal early (by 22 June) or who renew by Direct Debit. So if you have not already done so click here
We are looking forward to hearing your perspectives and reactions too! Is your organisation unlocking the benefits of social media? What are the attitudes of your HR team and senior leaders?
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