As I assist many businesses with their social media campaigns I learn and see that their employees are a major asset to their brand and always encourage them to utilize these voices.

A good way to test this theory is by utilizing some social business tools a.k.a. business intranet.

As we become more of an “in the cloud” society relying on digital space rather than office space, there is a way to communicate in a manner of which keeps everything in one place instead of by email, IMs, and Facebook chat.

Are you a part of a business that is a hybrid or your company office space is in the cloud? Yammer to the rescue!

Yammer is a social business network designed to use for private communication within organizations or between organizational members and groups. Once you sign up for the service you can create your profile and then invite others to join you and separate them according to a department or group.

Yammer leads with What are you working on? which triggers the inner hybrid office thoughts to share so that you can all stay abreast of what each is working on and offer information accordingly. Efficiency.

There is a free service as well as paid service starting at $5 per user per month. The layout includes a live stream as well as the ability to upload the mobile app. Additionally, there are also the opportunities to send and receive messages, IMs, the ability to see who is online at the present moment, communities that are separated, the ability to follow people, and more.

Currently I use Yammer and several other tools like it because I assist several organizations with their social media campaigns. Most of the companies I have never met in person. We use these tools to keep in touch with how the social media campaign is fairing and if there are any questions, suggestions, or comments. I’m sure for those with bigger companies, 40+,  this could be very beneficial to keep in touch and up to date on projects as you work throughout the day. You can also customize your company logo to appear to keep uniformity for those in your group.

So imagine, at a conference, you and the company could have side conversations and take notes about the event without tweeting it in to the Twitterverse or sending an email. Instead you are in the moment of the event and able to respond to each other quicker. Another example is when the company is trying to get out projects and do their work. Everyone needs to stay in touch and know how that is looking and utilizing a social intranet can best help.

Another term, social business, was created to describe how companies can generate greater value for their ecosystem by adding a social overlay. The first-generation social business was defined by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. The term evolved to a second generation by the Dachis Group to incorporate a social element interconnecting the various business constituents including marketing, R&D, customer support and suppliers. This second-generation meaning of social business is often tied to shared value and can encompass the use of social media tools.

In a social business, ideas and information flow horizontally, vertically, from the bottom and from the top; throughout the business. If you work in an office environment you know all too well the different syndromes that can occur because of how much money a person makes or if they are the favorite of the CEO. In this social business environment you get rid of such protocols and get to the answer of what is good and best for the company to move forward.

Will you be signing on to include your company or group? Are you already using this social network service? Leave me a note and let me know your thoughts.


Benefits to using a social business tool: 

  • Equal sharing of input and ideas
  • Accountability – was Sharon or Dave supposed to get more information and dropped the ball? Then you can better see how to go about facilitating duties and to help co-workers in their jobs; foster collaboration and get the job done in a more efficient manner
  • Tap in to the talents of your employees. There’s something to be said about goofing off and having a little fun with the social business tool. That is oftentimes where the great ideas derive from. It’s not always about doing the same thing, but making it seem like it is different. Your company/brand will be presented as an empty, but nice looking vessel.