Your company has a Facebook Page, you’re active on Twitter, and employees are posting status updates about discounts on LinkedIn – Congratulations! You’ve clearly made the jump to social. Everyone understands that becoming a social business is an important key to assure future success. However, most of what you hear is about externally facing social networks ( LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook). But what about your employees? While the benefits of internal social networks are well documented, did you know that over a third of businesses don’t have any type of an internal social network in place.
According to an IABC study 39% of companies today don’t have any internal social components – other research point to it being as high as 49%. Living in the tech heavy city of San Francisco, this is difficult to believe. However if you’re one of those organizations who are failing at taking full advantage of internal social networks then you need to pay attention.
The Pay off
Internal social networks are game changers for an organization. However for most companies implementing an internal social network is simply overlooked. The fact is that internal social networks lead to greater employee engagement, lower turnover and a greater sense of community. According to Nacy Kaplan’s article 3 Benefits Measures – The ROL of Internal Social Media Networks, organizations who use internal social networks saw “an 18% boost in employee engagement.” This is excellent news. We all know that the more engaged the workforce is the more productive they are. Kaplan points out that “Enhanced employee engagement has, in numerous studies, been shown to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and to drive higher sales” – and who wouldn’t want that?
Internal social networks also help foster community and enhance corporate culture. This helps limit costly employee turnover and helps bring people closer together – which if you have multiple offices or remote employees is a huge plus. For example, Dell’s Global Talent Acquisition Vice President, Marie Moynihan, posted about the work Dell’s Services Recruiting Team is doing in Bangalore, India. She included a picture of the successful team, prompting employees around the world to express their appreciation. By posting about what’s going on in other offices it helps people – who otherwise be disconnected – feel like they are part of a larger team. This helps foster a culture of teamwork and increases employee morale.
So as brand ambassadors, your employees are just as important as your customers. Avoid neglecting them when you consider your social media strategy. Whether your goal is enhancing productivity, spreading news, strengthening the corporate culture or maybe all three – an internal social network will help you get there. Putting it simply, if you don’t have an internal social network you’re missing out.