This article provides practical ways to leverage social media to improve your business.  A recently as last year I was essentially clueless when it came to social networking.    I had a Linkedin account but never used it.  I was not on Facebook.  I maintained this blog but it consists largely of one-way communication.  I’ve come a long way in a year but still have lots of room to grow.  I’m still not on Twitter and I have not developed a strategy for integrating my different “feeds.”

From a learning perspective, social networks are extremely powerful.  I have felt for many years that “event-based” training should not be the only means for developing your employees.  The marketplace and is too fluid for that model and learning is far more dynamic.  In the article linked above, the author notes “at almost no cost we can connect with like minded tribes globally at scale and speed. We can share ideas and knowledge in words, images and with the virtual face to face technologies of online video that transcends time and place.  Knowledge transfer is almost instantaneous.” [emphasis mine]

Social networks (and networking) adds value to learning but the author also cites characteristics of companies that will benefit the most from social technologies.

  • High percentage of knowledge workers
  • Business success is dependent on brand recognition and consumer perception
  • Need to build credibility and trust to sell their products and services
  • Digital distribution of products and services
  • Experiential or inspirational products and services

If that weren’t enough he cites research that found 10 ways social networking can add value within and across and enterprise.  Check it out!