“Like” it or not, Social Business is Must-Do for Internal Audiences Too

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Social BusinessAs an admitted LinkedIn junkie, I spend alot of time every day listening to what my contacts, their networks, and influencers are talking about. Social business, social media, collaboration tools, whatever name you choose seems to have hit the critical mass of general acceptance to the point that most grandmothers I know now post photos of their grandkids straight from their smartphones to Facebook.

Just this morning, I was reading a LinkedIn update from my friend collaboration guru Andy Jankowski sharing the much-touted view that businesses who haven’t already done so need to get social ASAP. Andy’s update was a post by influencer Tom Hood which also included a video produced by Deloitte Insights recapping findings from a recent study conducted by MIT and Deloitte. In the video interview, an anecdotal story is recapped about a inbound call that was handled by an insurance company. The call was regarding a highly unusual claim situation in which the agent taking the call was unsure of how this would be treated under the policy. The agent used an internal collaboration tool to pose this question to colleagues spread over a large geographic area and diverse functional areas of the organization. By tapping into the knowledge of the team, the company was able to provide an answer to the customer’s claim question within 30 minutes instead of who knows how long it would have taken otherwise. Imagine how this same scenario could play out in healthcare.

I especially enjoyed this post because the focus in social business conversations is so often on externally focused social business as opposed to social business for internal audiences. In the realm of internal communication, it seems that social business is finally becoming something that organizations recognize they must think about. Social and collaboration tools for internal audiences can include internal blogs, discussion forums, commenting, chatting, and more. Over the last year or so, it is something that I have found more and more hospitals investigating intranets are proactively seeking out and including in their project requirements.

The lesson? Social business isn’t going anywhere, but also social business can be used equally effectively for getting results with an internal audience. The question is not if an organization should jump on the social business bandwagon, but how. How is your organization using social business internally?

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