Monday May 9, 2011
According to the BBC, 750million people across the globe tuned in to watch Prince Charles and Lady Di tie the knot in 1981 – impressive figures for an event at this time. Incredibly though, on 29th April it was Prince William and Kate’s turn, and it appears as many as three times this tuned in to watch this historic event.
The Telegraph has estimated that two billion people saw the wedding either on television or in other media formats. Furthermore Facebook calculated that in the 24 hours before the event, 2.8million people across the UK and US alone updated their status regarding the wedding and there were approximately 237 tweets a second from Twitter users during the actual event. It’s these startling figures which clearly highlight how far technology has advanced in just twenty years and how our reliance on a computer has grown so rapidly (an astonishing affirmation of this is that 69 per cent of children aged two to five can use a computer mouse but only 11 per cent can tie their own shoelaces!)
The most obvious change is the boom of social media for both personal and business use. Nowadays it seems like second nature to update your 'social media family' about your daily routine, but are businesses using this powerful tool to their advantage? A recent report from Burson-Marsteller found that only 25% of the top 100 companies in the 2010 Fortune Global 500 actually use all four of the main social media platforms; Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging. With larger companies tending to lead the way; this leads me to suspect that this figure is actually a lot lower amongst smaller firms.
So how can social media and other technology be used successfully within a business? Here are my top ten tips:
- A great company website - is extremely important. Having it professionally designed is a must and it should be simple and easy to read and use. Also bear in mind that many people access web pages on smartphones and tablets nowadays so large blocks of text should be avoided.
- Harness and expand talent - by asking any social media whizzes to provide on-the-job training or reverse-mentoring to the less-technologically-aware members of the team. This could take the form of project work which can help employees feel more engaged.
- Challenge employees - have them find websites could be used to increase internet presence. Linkedin is a great starting place for finding online groups to suit a business’ specific interests.
- Add to online visibility - by encouraging employees to add links to the company website, Facebook and Twitter account in their email signatures and blog posts.
- Tweet - nominate one or a couple of people in the company to be responsible for the ‘tweets’; making sure they are done on a regular basis to allow for a good online presence. The top four reasons for tweeting are company news, announcements to shareholders, deals and career information, e.g. employment adverts (Burson-Marsteller). But don’t over-promote – the rule should be 60% industry articles or news, 20% specific client information / news and 20% own company announcements.
- Use competitions - fun Facebook or Twitter competitions are a great way to spread the word. Bespoke Hotels held a great cryptic Christmas giveaway where a new clue was added to their Facebook page daily so that the entrants could search their website for the answers. This resulted in much higher traffic to their site.
- Use different mediums - post good-quality, professional videos on YouTube to showcase interesting company highlights to the world. Use the free analytics tool to see where viewers are based and how they discovered the video. Check our 'Purple Breakfast' video out here for an example.
- Talk back - it pays to be interactive and engage with what people are saying online. If someone complained or gave praise face-to-face or over the telephone, people would reply accordingly so this should be no different.
- Blog - regularly and keep topical. Include links to other sites and lots of facts and figures to keep people interested and back up your points.
- Use technology to improve your HR processes - finally a talent management system like the award-winning talent toolbox™ family of solutions allows the appraisal process to become much simpler and more time-effective. In-depth reports are created instantly which can allow managers at all levels to monitor performance. This helps with employee morale, productivity and retention leading to a much higher return on investment.
So it is clear that technology is an ever-growing important part of modern business and should be used to drive a company forward.
How do you apply technology in your business? If you would like any further ideas about how you could use it to enhance your organisation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.