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Enterprise Social Networks: Serious business tool or just a bit of fun?

The growing popularity of social networking sites is a very good example of how technology has changed the lives of people. Through such sites, people from across the world are able to communicate with each other quickly and in real time. They are able to set up their network of friends with different likes and interests and even races. Such nifty feature has made social network sites attractive to a lot of businesses. Many companies are now using sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to market their products and services. Some have even considered using enterprise social networking software to put up their own site instead of using existing and widely-used software.

By using enterprise social software, businesses are able to bring their clients, employees, customers, investors, and even the management on the same network. This means better and efficient communication among the key people of the company and its customers and faster accomplishment of different projects. The following are the basic and essential tools that many enterprises have adapted and used in accomplishing different projects as well as in achieving their goals.

Instant Messaging. Instant messaging tools offered by many of today’s community or social software include chat and video messaging. These tools allow for easier and faster communication among the management, employees, and business partners. The best part of using such tools is that conversing with a group of people, not just with one person, is very much possible. Instant messaging is also a great way for a company to expand its network.

Discussion Forums. Discussion forums are where the network can post their feedback, comments, and opinions about the products being offered by the company. By having these tools, the company is able to get ideas and suggestions from other people, which they can use to improve their services.

RSS Feeds. Really Simple Syndication or RSS feeds are advanced features that allow for easy sharing of content. It’s a great tool to use for updating and informing network members about recent updates, project status, upcoming events, and other important information. RSS feeds are also helpful in increasing website traffic.

Geo Social Networking. This is another advanced feature that only few enterprise social networking software vendors are able to offer. This type of tool allows for better and more social dynamics as users are offered more capabilities such as geo-tagging and geo-coding. Consumers and clients, and business partners all can benefit from this feature.

VoIP Communication. Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP communication allows the network to make phone calls over the internet. Calling through VoIP phones is just like calling using the traditional phones. Users are also given access to features such as voicemail, call waiting, and forwarding.

Businesses setting up their own sites will never run out of ideas as many different features are being offered by various vendors. Some vendors even offer tools like friend listing module, games, blogs, flash chat, profile comments, and more. They just have to choose what features they need and ensure they are using the right enterprise social networking software.

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