For fear of turning this blog into one solely focused on the tech world, and specifically its applications (and impact) on business, I can’t help but write, once again, about an area which seems to be gaining a more and more pervasive presence in the business world by the day – the wonderful, engaging, (and maybe dangerous) world of social media.
As you may have heard, Salesforce.com recently announced that it would acquire New Brunswick’s Radian6 for approximately $326 million. The San Francisco based Salesforce.com is most famous for its cloud based customer relationship management (CRM) software that allows businesses to manage their leads, opportunities, accounts, and contacts, while Radian6 is best known for its social media listening service. A listening service allows a business to monitor its social media strategy by looking for key words within social media posts to track consumer satisfaction or displeasure.
Speculation within the industry is that the Salesforce.com takeover of Radian6 is most likely to aid with one of their most popular applications, “Chatter”. Chatter is a tool that allows employees to chat and collaborate on tasks in real time. The product of this relationship should be a world class collaboration tool that allows businesses to monitor and quickly respond to social media postings.
The heightened ability to connect with co-workers or social media “friends” can obviously have a tremendous impact on business – if used for good! The challenge that many business owners will, no doubt, face, is the balancing act of allowing access to these tools (because of their great potential benefits), juxtaposed with the potential losses in productivity if employees use them as the time-wasters they can potentially be.
This unintended consequence is growing less and less avoidable, as it is becoming imperative for nearly every business that utilizes social media to engage customers and quickly respond to positive and negative feedback. As more and more consumers are turning to social media for information on products and services, it becomes an excellent tool for promoting one’s brand, and providing customer service. Just make sure you’ve got an ear to the ground, so you know what your customers (and employees!) are saying.