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12 Reasons To Be Thankful For Social Business

Why should we be grateful for social business? Let us count a dozen ways.

The BrainYard's 7 Social Business Leaders Of 2012
The BrainYard's 7 Social Business Leaders Of 2012
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
It's probably safe to say that social media is a business game changer. It's still relatively new, and many companies have yet to do much more than set up a presence on the major external social networking platforms. But, as evidenced by The BrainYard's recent feature on social business leaders, there are many companies that are showing great return on social media investments in both internal and external products and practices.

Indeed, when it comes to social business, many organizations are finding that there is a lot to be thankful for. And what better time of year to tick some off? Following is our list of 12 social business things to be thankful for. We'd be grateful for your input, as well -- please let us know in the comments section below why you are thankful for social business (or even what you wish would go away).

1. As we heard over and over from the social business leaders we interviewed for our Social Business Leaders of 2012 feature, social business systems are providing new and more effective ways of collaborating within the company. This is resulting in a freer flow of ideas and much better odds that the right people will become attached to bringing those ideas to fruition.

2. Indeed, we're also thankful that social business platforms make it easier to find the people at your company who have done what you need to do. (In other words, there is less wheel reinvention going on.)

3. While there have been countless incidents of smart people doing dumb things very publicly on social media, businesses are starting to get more savvy about training users in PSB (proper social behavior). And, when an incident does occur, businesses are leveraging social to own mistakes and make things right (or as right as possible).

4. Along those same lines, social business has prompted organizations to take a new look at security policy while developing policy around the use of social media. That's a very good thing.

5. Social provides sort of an ongoing focus group. Companies are using external social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to get closer to their customers, and thus their customers' wants and needs. Savvy companies are taking this data and feeding it to product development, marketing, tech and other departments.

[ Are you leveraging social to boost sales? See 4 Social Factors That Drive IT Buying Decisions. ]

6. It provides an effective, and often-cost-cutting, help desk and customer service channel.

7. While much of the ROI of social networking is soft, vendors are offering increasingly sophisticated products and services for measuring the value of social business initiatives in concrete terms.

8. With that said, as with any business initiative, social success depends on focused goals and a well-managed process. We're thankful that there are a variety of good tools available for administering such programs.

9. Social is making is easier to recruit and be recruited.

10. Social business is helping companies think in new ways outside its figurative four walls, with many companies looking to extend their internal social networks to business partners and even customers.

11. It is opening up opportunities for the IT department and for IT professionals -- at least, for those who are willing and able to see business and technology working in new, more interactive ways.

12. Social business in many ways has flattened the organization, providing new opportunities for being heard and for building personal brand.

There are more things to be thankful for when it comes to social business, and there are quite a few things that companies would be happy to do without. We'd love your input. Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

For the 16th consecutive year, InformationWeek is conducting its U.S. IT Salary Survey. To date, more than 200,000 IT professionals have participated in this survey. Take our InformationWeek 2013 U.S. IT Salary Survey now, and be eligible to win some great prizes. Survey ends Jan. 18.

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PJS880
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PJS880,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/10/2012 | 2:47:02 AM
re: 12 Reasons To Be Thankful For Social Business
I would have to say that number nine stands out the most as far personally. I have been using social media to market myself on a professional level and the returns have been very good. Personally branding is huge in today's professional world and social media is a great way to just that. I would have to also agree that if your business sis not using social media in one form or another then you are missing a serious boat!

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
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