Drive Digitization – Social Tools in Business and Marketing

How to use social tools to ensure communication internally as well as in marketing

Social tools in the company? You don’t have to replace the Internet, you can also start in individual areas. Networks and tools for marketing are just as much a part of this as project management tools that help with daily work.

Enterprise 2.0 – a buzzword that has experienced a real boom in recent years alongside Industry 4.0. By introducing these technologies, companies hope to achieve faster, more transparent and better communication in cross-functional and/or international teams.

The goals of adopting enterprise social networks or tools (ESN/EST) are often cited as improving collaborative work, enhancing communication within the organization, and supporting the efficient distribution of knowledge. In addition, ESN/EST help establish interactions between users, find experts within the organization, and improve informal sharing. In the implementation of ESN/EST, corporate culture plays as big a role as the technology itself. This is significantly influenced by the promotion of communication and collaboration between employees.

Steps for the introduction and relevant drivers

According to Göhring, Niemeier, seven steps are recommended for the introduction of ESN/EST:

  1. Provide clarity about the drivers
  2. Clarify framework conditions in the company
  3. Set goals
  4. Evaluate goals based on drivers
  5. Determine need for action in the company
  6. Determine change management measures
  7. Create roadmap

Important factors for ESN/EST adoption are the underlying drivers. Ten key drivers to examine:

  1. Availability of Enterprise 2.0 technologies
  2. Impact of demographic change
  3. Design of an attractive, future-oriented working environment
  4. Increase in the importance of social media in customer management
  5. Increasing competitive pressure
  6. Increasing importance of external collaboration
  7. Increase in the importance of knowledge work
  8. Increase in the ability to innovate
  9. Increase in global collaboration
  10. Increase in the amount of relevant information

It is important to note that technology availability cannot or should not be the sole driver for tool adoption.

Enterprise social networks replace the classic intranet

The goal of enterprise social networks or social intranets is to support internal corporate communication. Modern systems no longer rely solely on unidirectional communication with employees, but use the functionalities familiar from social networks. This results in internal company platforms that support international communication or collaboration, for example.

Well-known representatives of enterprise social networks include Yammer and Stackfield.

The intranet does not always have to be new

In addition to social intranets, however, solutions and tools are also available that can be implemented and used alongside the classic intranet. The aim of these tools is to provide optimum support for individual fields of work.

Agile project management has been a term in IT for several years now. However, many marketing projects are still processed according to the waterfall principle. Tools from agile project management can also be used for marketing projects to produce more transparency, more speed and better results.

Trello instead of project management

The Trello tool is ideal for multifunctional teams to gain transparency about the tasks currently being worked on. Trello is very intuitive and can be flexibly customized – and it is free in the basic version.

The organization is done via different lists, which in turn can contain individual cards. Team members, deadlines, comments and files can be assigned to these. Notification runs via e-mail, so the established communication channel in the corporate environment is also used.

In contrast to classic project management tools such as Microsoft Project, the standard version of Trello unfortunately cannot output the usual Gantt charts, and resource planning is also not included. However, the tool is much more intuitive to use and – very popular in marketing – much more visual.

Social tools can also support marketing – but systems are not everything.

ESN/EST can facilitate work in cross-functional teams. However, the introduction of such tools is not done with the installation or the creation of the users. The team needs guidelines that must be constantly monitored and compliance demanded. In addition, alternatives to the new tool must not be offered.

Critical to the implementation of ESN/EST are the underlying drivers. It should be possible to identify several drivers for the introduction to be successful. In addition, there must be a discernible added value or improvement over the status quo for users.

    Nach beruflichen Stationen in großen internationalen Konzernen ist er im Mittelstand angekommen. Als Leiter Marketing & PR verantwortet er die gesamte Unternehmenskommunikation weltweit. Derzeit beschäftigt er sich mit dem Zusammenhang von Unternehmenskultur und digitaler Transformation und versucht, ein Reifegradmodell hierfür zu entwickeln.

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