As social networking has emerged as a communications medium, businesses have focused on the marketing implications in terms of influencing relationships with customers and prospects. Another potentially value marketing application of social networking web sites is enhancing communication within the internal (employee) market. A recent Business Week cover story raises the point that companies stand to gain if they can figure out how to harness the power of social networking to strengthen communication and knowledge sharing among employees.
According to the Business Week article, internal research done at IBM found that consultants with tighter e-mail communication relationships with their bosses generated an average of $588 more revenue per month. Of course, employees that make the effort to establish relationships with their superiors may also be driven to engage in other behaviors that would contribute to generating more revenue. In other words, it is far too simplistic to suggest a causal relationship. But, the findings are intriguing in that they illustrate potential benefits of employees connecting with superiors as well as their peers via social networking.
If employees are able to build stronger personal and professional bonds with their peers, it creates a path for more collaboration as well as sharing information about products, customers and competitors. The increased flow of communication and shared knowledge are vital to creating a culture of innovation.
Link: Business Week – “Learning, and Profiting, from Online Friendships”