Why Companies Need Social Collaboration And What To Do About It

The enterprise social collaborate software market was a $600 million industry in 2010, but is estimated to reach $6.4 billion in 2016.

Source: http://www.infoworld.com/d/applications/forrester-enterprise-social-software-become-64-billion-market-in-2016-180755

The majority of agencies and businesses I’ve worked with are failing miserably at providing workers the tools and equipment they need to effectively manage their time (and share what they’re getting done). Because things are so unorganized, it means employees are spending more time working outside the office via their mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

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If you’re simultaneously using e-mail, calendar, file storage, chat, social media on browser windows and instant message for your work flow, it can be a hot mess. And, yet, so many of us continue to live the insanity.

There’s a better way. It’s called open social collaboration and productivity. Sure, I work for a company (Tracky, www.tracky.com) that provides such a platform, but it goes deeper than that. I’m an advocate for the “League of Doers” — otherwise known as, “the people who get stuff done.”

Why do companies need social collaboration?

Time is money, right? Wasted time is like throwing money down your company’s break room kitchen drain. To stop the insanity, someone at the top must say, “stop!” They need to demand a culture change and model the behaviors they want to see from employees and, eventually, your customers.

It’s fun. If you use a platform that has a modern feel and social integration, it can actually make collaboration fun.

Most companies recognize the need for better collaboration but they fear a steep learning curve. It means time, resources and research to find the right platform, education to teach employees and lots of process changes.

Why go through all this?

You will see an increase in productivity from employees when you switch to social collaboration. No more long email chains. No more trying to find the right document to edit. It’s about being able to work together in real-time. You’ll also be able to do both private collaboration and open social sharing within the same tool. It’s an all-in-one platform (e.g. plan an event and then be able to tweet about it).

What does a “good” social collaboration platform look like? At the very minimum you should be able to:

  • To-do list functionality
  • Live chat
  • Calendars
  • Task management
  • People and project discovery
  • Social accountability
  • Cloud-based storage
  • Private and public. This one’s super important for SEO. Publicly visible
    information should be spiderable by Google and add to your overall content

Interested in more? I’ll be talking about how you can use social collaboration in your work flow during my upcoming Pubcon Las Vegas 2012 presentation on Thursday, October 18 at 11:30 a.m. PST.

Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans) is the chief evangelist at Tracky and owner of Sevans Strategy, a public relations and new media consultancy. She’s the author of new book, [RE]FRAME: Little Inspirations For A Larger Purpose (published by SlimBooks). You can read her full PubCon speaker biography here.