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Social Integration

Social media is here to stay and every business must address security, reputation, and marketing. A management stance and strategy must be defined for each area. The bottom line is that many businesses will either adapt to changing business culture or parish.

Over the years, the largest productivity loss on the Internet has changed from pornography to shopping and now social media. If you’re not filtering and tracking e-mail and web browsing, then viruses, phishing, and leakage of confidential information will result in significant business loss. It makes no sense to set a policy without a way to enforce it. Remote monitoring and network security are more sophisticated and cost-effective than ever. While you may choose to block Facebook and Ebay, Twitter and LinkedIn will likely be necessary business tools.

Since the line between personal and business life continues to blur, it is a personal and business responsibility to monitor reputation. Whether it is Google Alerts or TweetDeck or a paid service, you should monitor: business name, keyword phrases, employees, and competitor names.

Social media should be a part of your marketing, sales, and business conversion. Define goals, tactics for a campaign, and simple measurements for success. Whether you are trying to track and increase website traffic or improve customer relationship management, the trend is shorter and more frequent and meaningful content. Those that provide something useful for free or solve common problems seem to draw the most interest. Avoid adding to the noise and simply tweeting famous quotes or blogging mundane definitions.

Finally, social integration in business is about new approaches and innovation. Those who continue to cling to archaic thinking and repeating tired processes will be pushed aside by forward-thinking incumbents or a slew of new market players. Are you embracing cloud computing and online backup or the costly upgrade/failure/maintenance legacy treadmill with on-premise systems and tape? Does your sales team spam the market with ineffective e-mail and voice mail or connect with LinkedIn and Twitter?  Winners now and in the future will have lower cost, faster communication, and a more relevant message.

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