McKinsey Consulting looks at social technology as more than social media. They view “social technology” as a significant enhancement to collaboration and communication processes. An enhancement that changes everything a business does, not just marketing and advertising. What new value can be created by improving communications and collaboration? Everything!

In an In article titled “Using technology to improve workforce collaboration“ James Manyika, Kara Sprague and Lareina Yee writes: Raising the quality of these interactions is largely uncharted territory. Taking a systematic view, however, helps bring some of the key issues into focus. Our research suggests that improvements depend upon getting a better fix on who actually is doing the collaborating within companies, as well as understanding the details of how that interactive work is done. Just as important is deciding how to support interactions with technology—in particular, Web 2.0 tools such as social networks, wikis, and video. There is potential for sizeable gains from even modest improvements. Our survey research shows that at least 20 percent and as much as 50 percent of collaborative activity results in wasted effort.

To put this in better perspective consider what happens when organizations use social media solely as advertising and marketing channel. They are likely to initially get the markets attention and in doing so increase the cost of responding to said attention. Worse, the market takes notice then criticizes the brand or organization for terrible service, poor customer relations or “spamming” the market. Worse yet is that the organizations employee attitudes reflected in their online conversations produce a negative sentiment about the organization. These incidents are happening everywhere because organizations do not think systemically about social technology. Rather they think about marketing and advertising. That thinking represents devolution.

Revaluations are driven by efficiency, effectiveness and innovation. Devolution of social media are the results of doing things that reduce the value of communications. It’s time to create a revaluation of this thing being called social media. That can only happen when there is a revolution in thinking. That would require a revolution in “what” we believe.

Jay Deragon
The Relationship Economy
July 22, 2011

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