Friday, July 04, 2008

Where's the ROI in social networks!

If asked for financial ROI by some senior manager, you could ask them: Would you rather our employees were connected or disconnected? Would you rather staff did things once and reused that effort or did it multiple times in different geographical locations? Did you measure the ROI of your telephone system or e-mail or were the benefits so blatantly obvious.

Senior managers who are afraid of social software hide behind ROI arguments. Senior managers who get it just make it happen without endless questions.

Some measure ROI in an more abstract way, by monitoring the amount of buzz or conversation in a community and the opinions of the public. What you choose to measure is dependent on your aims, or what you want to receive as a return.

One company has shown that by using an internal social network a company can have a dramatic impact on its operation. Since introducing its corporate social network for its staff, the retail giant "The Best Buy Corporation", which employs 140,000 staff, has seen a dramatic shift in employee engagement. Not only do 18,000 people use the system regularly - that's more than 10% of the workforce each day - the social network appears to have made people like the business more. So much so, that the company's staff retention rate has rocketed. Unlike other retailers, where staff turnover can approach 60%, Best Buy has seen its staff turnover drop to a mere 8%.

In summary:

1. Social Networks Build Better Customer Relationships,
2. Social Networks Improve Knowledge Management,
3. Social Networks Facilitates Recruiting and Retention,
4. Social Networks Increase Business Opportunities,
5. Social Networks Build Community.

The Corporate Social Network plaform recommended is

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