Social Media might make some people frown, but when it comes to business, there is no denying social media is here to stay. In fact, many companies find they cannot effectively block social media sites like Facebook and Twitter because they are actively using these services to promote their brand.
What’s The Solution?
Understanding the limits of social media and helping your IT department understand it as well, both go a long way toward making your workplace a more successful social media environment. In fact, some recent studies have shown that allowing your employees to spend a few minutes on some social media sites every day actually boosts their productivity.
IT Is Almost Always Resistant
Unfortunately, from the perspective of someone in your Internet Technologies department these social media sites seem to be harbingers of doom. They mean allowing your employees unfettered access to sites which can lead to trouble down the line. Whether that means an accidentally downloaded virus or the leaking of sensitive company information, leaving your network open to social media is risky as far as IT is concerned, so make certain you talk to them about it first.
In the final analysis, social media is not going away so you, and the people you work with, need to learn to live with it.
How to “Friend” IT
In order to realize the full business potential of bringing IT into the social network, we must recognize that there is much more to a social product than just being able to send a Tweet or post a status message. The new social products must meet a few key criteria:
Ability to post and monitor on multiple social media networks. Simply sending a status message is a one-way communication with little benefit. Being able to monitor those channels and take specific action adds value.
Ability to translate machine language into human language. A social media gateway that simply repeats arcane log errors does not translate to a large audience – some may not even meet the 140 characters of a Twitter message. The social product must be able to translate what is happening into a humanly recognizable message, and on the flip-side, be able to interpret humanly recognizable messages.
Ability to proactively manage IT through a social media interface. The new social products must evolve as to how we interact with control systems and be able to address the complexity-avalanche facing technology consumers.
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