The last two decades of this millennium have seen radical changes in the way organisations function. This has been especially true with the introduction of social media. It all started with the simple idea of connecting people to their long-lost contacts and sharing information across the web, but soon grew to be an integral part of our personal, as well as professional, lives. Consequently, it prompted a whole new era of work culture, otherwise known as “knowledge economy”. Data drives everything in this economy, to the extent that the psychological aspects of a business are now analysed using data, rather than through random assessments and individual opinions. Social media has turned out to be an indispensable source of data mining for all business audiences – consultants, employees, suppliers, key stake holders, investors, marketers, manufacturers and even legal bodies. Social sites are not only for communication exchange anymore; they are the largest media platforms, widely used as promotional channels to drive sales. As well as this, organisations with strong social visibility are the ones that attract quality talent.
As we approach 2020, we can see that social media will be the biggest influencer of our time – on processes and functions, operations, and even management decisions.
Employees and social media
Millennial professionals approach things innovatively. As we move on to the next decade, one will be surprised at how much knowledge can be unlocked when social media and social platforms are channelled in the right direction. Let’s take Facebook Workplace for example. More than 1000 companies across the world are using ‘Workplace’ by Facebook to connect with colleagues, beyond their office desks and cubicles. Such formal networking products enable workgroup communication and assess employee sentiments, through workflow analysis and conversations with key stakeholders. The knowledge workers today are more at ease with communicating through social channels. This not only promotes employee engagement but also encourages people to share opinions, which otherwise could be restricted to formal talks. As we see, by 2020, social media will heavily impact employee engagement and influence management decisions.
Empowered with the right kind of content, organisations can increase their brand visibility through social media. With more than 177 billion expected users in the next three years, social platforms will be the ultimate destination for organisations to showcase themselves. And as far as marketing and promotion is concerned, social selling will prove to be much cheaper than traditional media. This will help organisations to spread their marketing budget, not only through selling their products and services but by promoting the organisation to customers, key stakeholders and prospective employees.
The knowledge economy is more about working smarter, faster and blurring the strict 9 to5 timelines. Professionals today probably work more hours than their 19th century predecessors. How did we make this possible? The smart age calls for equally smart tools and smarter methods of working. Social media has essentially made the Millennial’s life easier, and it’s here to stay – from generating databases of prospective customers to simultaneously working on the same report from different global locations, or even managing sale volumes from a single dashboard. Companies are already using social tools to generate content, share it across platforms and analyse results. Although primarily used as a marketing technique, experts believe that by the next decade organisations will have social tools for internal business functions – this will help to increase operational transparency and resource independence.
As Rob Cross in A Practical Guide to Social Networks, states, “…..appropriate connectivity in well-managed networks within organisations can have a substantial impact on performance, learning, and innovation.”
Innovations can be promising if used at the right time, for the right people and in the right manner. Will the 2020 organisations see business functions completely driven by social media? Or will it be a catalyst to process innovation and resource optimisation? We’ll have to wait a while until we get there. Meanwhile, join us at the Working Futures Event on 14th November, 2017, to take part in strategic discussions and share your ideas on the future of organisations.
Click here to register and be a part of the future!