I just hit my 100th Twitter follower, so sure, I’m a baby in the world of social media but I have been ramping up aggressively! Just a few weeks ago I had a Klout of 20, now I am at 46. The blog traffic has been increasing exponentially and it’s a blast, but does all this personal branding and networking via public social networks have a place at work? Only 20 of the Fortune 500 CEO’s use Twitter, though about 130 use LinkedIn. Taking a broader perspective, 72% of companies use social media. A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute puts the value of untapped potential of social media at between $900B and $1,300B.
“The benefits of social technologies will likely outweigh the risks for most companies. Organizations that fail to invest in understanding social technologies will be at greater risk of having their business models disrupted by social technologies.” - McKinsey Report
This is the most important point in the article in my opinion because nobody can predict exactly how social media will affect their business, but they should do their best to get ahead of the curve. Social media affects businesses in unexpected ways.
ComBlu released a study, State of Online Branded Communities 2011 which listed NBC, Kellogs, Starbucks and Verizon as leaders in leveraging social media in creative ways. McKinsey has a great exhibit that shows other applications of social media.
The McKinsey report claims that the interaction workers (skilled professionals whose work requires complex interactions) average workweek is spent in four areas: e-mail, research, communication/collaboration and role specific tasks. Productivity in each of these areas can be dramatically increased through social media with a 20-25% boost in productivity and up to $1.3T in value generated.
There are many tools that we can use to collaborate with coworkers such as Yammer, Social Cast and Convo. For the most part it seems like these technologies are in their infancy, but there is clearly value in them as Yammer was bought by Microsoft for $1.2B!
These technologies can be used to enhance workplaces in many ways:
With my 100th follower I’m slowly figuring out how to leverage social media for this blog and my personal network, but it is definitely the tip of the iceberg. Crowdsourcing, market information, engagement, advertising, publicity, collaboration, knowledge sharing… it goes on and on and I believe organizations that get on this bandwagon first will have a significant competitive advantage, to the tune of $1.3T!