Can you fathom that it has been merely nine years since Facebook was launched in a dorm room? These days social media is no longer a toy for college kids, it is a full blown boardroom tool. Just last year, 73% of Fortune 500 companies were active every day on Twitter. And more than 80% of corporate executives believed that social media efforts led to higher sales.
We expect social media to continue to grow in 2013 in the following ways:
#1 Social Media Will Spread Company Wide
To this point, social media is largely confined to marketing functions at most companies. However, some reports have indicated that there is a huge amount of untapped value – in the trillions of dollars – with social media technology in improving corporate communications and collaboration across departments in companies. So, it appears that social media is soon going to be a real office productivity tool. Expect to see social media grow the way email did over a decade ago.
This year, we have started to see HR departments use social media to interface with people looking for jobs, and to make the job application process easier. Sales teams are utilizing social media to find new leads and to track clients as they move through the sales process.
#2 Email Use Will Drop
The essential concept of email is mostly unchanged since the first message was sent via network way back in 1971. Email is still great for one on one communication, but there are many better tools for communicating these days. Instant messaging is now a fixture at many offices, because it allows for real time communicating.
Also, more powerful tools for communicating in the office are now available. They are borrowing features from Facebook (which is hard at work at building new products) and others and pulling them into the office space. You should expect to see new business networks such as Chatter and Yammer to make more inroads into the corporate world. These tools will allow workers to form work groups virtually and exchange ideas on message boards.
#3 Social Media Compliance Is Essential
Morgan Stanley started using Twitter this year, but the decision was long pondered. The very same SEC rules that govern the company’s communications elsewhere are the very same when it comes to social media. Every tweet is a potential law suit. This means that corporations that enter into social media on a regular basis will need to make sure that they are meeting all regulatory requirements. Expect to see companies use more social media management that allows instant archiving.