ROBOCAST: don’t feel like reading? listen instead!
We’ve been examining the impact of web 2.0 over the past couple of weeks and it’s effect on the modern enterprise. Among the many elements that comprise this new paradigm of internet technology, arguably it’s most pivotal factor is the advancement of technology toward aggregating the knowledge of the people. Through the folksonomy, tagging, and crowdsourcing, the collective intelligence of the internet is increasingly powered not by keyword associations, but by the activity of colleagues, friends, and industry professionals alike. Most prominent of these innovations is the humble and now increasingly omnipresent social network.
Perhaps the greatest asset in our society, our immediate connections, and the potential connections we have to others within a network is invaluable. We can contact friends, share information, maintain connections, all in real time. This has become a personal investment for many, a source of making and keeping relationships and memories that is universally valuable. But given the significance of such platforms and risks, how is something of such scale maintained and for what purpose. A notion spurred ever more by the recent Facebook IPO; how is a social network valuable economically, and relevant to us, how can it benefit the modern enterprise?
Simply put, its because the internet, and corporations as a whole can better understand us. Privacy concerns aside, there’s a lot to value in organisations that are aware of their public’s concern, that can communicate with these publics effectively, and that can better cater to their needs. Furthermore, knowledge of the preferences and connections that people have are valuable in improving recommendations. There are many ways this can help organisations, many of them now using these technologies internally, but today i’d like to talk about the value of the social network in reaching out to consumers.
With all this incredibly valuable information organisations now have at their disposal, they are capable of a communication that is more personal and meaningful than ever before. Key to this power, is the stakeholders that organisations inevitably form as they grow and establish into thriving corporations. Shareholders, local community, consumers, there are many stakeholders that an organisation needs to consider to operate to its full potential. Of this, the social network has now opened two major opportunities: the ability to establish a presence for loyalists of the organisation, and to give a means of response to disgruntled publics that may have lost favour with the organisation due to inevitable issues that arise. Following from the example of the Brisbane Airport that I had used in the previous post, how might this organisation exploit the strengths of this medium to improve its overall reputation. By targeting the loyalists, the Brisbane Airport can maintain these customers through incentives that keep them coming back, and forming mutually beneficial relationships; a third-party community of people that love an organisation is always the most effective way of encouraging new consumers. So too, if issues arise, the organisation is now able to respond directly to effected publics, tending to their needs and diffusing a situation that can potentially damage the reputation and profitability of an organisation.
Essentially, we’ve provided a platform for the most important stakeholders of an organisation such as the Brisbane Airport, to communicate with each other. Patrons who love the service of the Airport, receive more rewards, and those who may have missed their flights, can be contacted with a solution that can pre-empt the often nasty media. It’s plane and simple that social networks are an integral to the modern enterprise, but more surprisingly, its a huge win for the consumers as well.