There is undoubtedly a buzz about the use of social media in the enterprise at the moment. Everywhere we go, to discuss our applications with retailers, we are asked about our social media functionality in our applications.

My initial question to prospects is “what are you hoping to achieve by having this capability?” to which the typical answer is “we want to ‘engage’ with our workforce and provide them with a platform to socialise, mix and exchange ideas”.Whilst this sounds great, I do have a couple of reservations.

First of all, particularly in retail, resource is highly mobile, not desk-based and have limited access to computers. Furthermore, this resource actually needs to be on the shop floor engaging with customers and driving sales during work hours. If we are asking our most valuable resource to be accessing ‘social sites’ during work hours, then customers are in danger of being presented with a bunch of smartphone-obsessed teenagers when requiring service.

IF these employees wish to ‘socialise’ with each other online they are most likely already doing this on mainstream social platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Twitter away from the prying eyes of management and corporate governance. Simply providing the capability to have a free for all chat or social function within a business tool can be a distraction to mainstream activity and purpose. I DO think it is a great idea to throw discussion points out to the store and gain valuable insight from the coal face but do this in a controlled manner that is more likely to result in some quality insight and opinion. Instant messaging is a frequently requested capability; our view is that rather than just provide a free for all capability, wrap process and context around this to deliver real business benefit. If a request or question is being asked regularly then embed it in the subject matter or communication to in effect ‘answer before it has been asked’.

Unified Comms

Our Unified Comms applications enable more than enough capability to provide structured engagement opportunities such as surveys, voice messaging, instant polls, video content, chat forums, news and instant messaging. All of these coupled with engaging, exciting and personalised content result in higher levels of engagement within a controlled and objective manner, aligned with your business objectives. This approach delivers more tangible and measurable results than just providing an open, free for all, Facebook messenger type capability.

In summary, provide a social capability to your staff but keep it business focussed, controlled and in context of what their main jobs are.

Contact us to hear how we can help your business – Nice chatting with you 🙂

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