The introduction of web 2.0 technologies (social media) has adopted a different way to conduct business in organizations. Examples of social media that are being used in organizations include social bookmarking and tagging, blogs and Wiki’s. More are being developed.
Blogging involves blogs which are publishing tools that are similar to online journals. The readers can subscribe so as to comment and share their views in regard to the item being discussed. Wikis is websites where users can add, remove and edit the content. Social bookmarking enables the users post a list of favorite bookmarks so that other users can use to research. Tagging involves the use of keywords so as to track content in a website. A user can use a keyword to access to content identified by others.
Different terms are being used to refer to social media in organizations. They include social networking, social networking software, E-communities, web 2.0. These terms can be confusing at times because they may mean different in different contexts thus causing confusion.
For social media to work effectively in organizations, certain modes of computer communication ought to take place. They include; one on one, this involves emails and instant messaging. The second mode is one to many which is enabled through web pages and blogs. The third and final mode is many to many which involve wiki and whiteboards.
Social media in organizations have been promoted since many workers in organizations have laptops, low cost internet access and since most of them work from home. This has led to advantages as well as disadvantages. According to there are a number of disadvantages that have discussed. Time wastage on the employee’s part, especially if the employee does not uphold the organization’s ethics. Social media if done wrongly has privacy risks to customer service and IP protection. However, these risks can be managed and solved. To rip benefits from social a lot of work needs to be done and not just the simple uploading of videos on YouTube and updates on twitter on Facebook Another disadvantage is that social media necessarily does not deliver the real business value, it delivers just a small bit of the real value.
Mistake that organizations make is that they think all they need is to provide the social media technology and everything else will fall in place. This kind of approach is destined to fail and backfire.
Social media has its advantages, as well. Users of social media are able to create local and worldwide contacts with people of other organizations who have strong professional ties or have great expertise. Social media in organizations remove the redundancy of fixing problems which had already been solved. This is solved through the use of social media tools like Wiki. According to Knowledge should be produced once, and any additions or omissions should aim at improving its accuracy.
Another merit is that social media enables organizations market themselves in the internet. People can have a look at the merchandise that the organization has through its website and even buy it online. It has also made communication faster and cheaper through the use of emails and instant messaging. This has led to the collapse of postal operations as they take long and expensive.
Bradley, Anthony J and Mark P McDonald. The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective. Washington: Harvard Business Press, 2011.
Brown, John Seely and Pau l Duguid. The Social Life of Information. Washington: Harvard Business Press, 2002.
Patrut, Monica and Bogdan Patrut. Social Media in Higher Education: Teaching in Web 2.0. Washington: Information Science Reference, 2013.