I am not a social media guru. Nor am I young enough to be a digital native (I don’t even come close to texting an average of 109.5 messages per day). But I am fascinated by social technology and the still untapped potential it has to positively change the way we do business.
I’m not talking just about the use of social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for marketing, sales, or research. While 72% of companies use social technologies in some way—mostly for the purposes I just mentioned—very few organizations are yet experiencing its full possibilities. In fact, social tools are expected to provide the most value to companies by enhancing communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), a management consulting firm.
Communication and collaboration are often top challenges I hear expressed by construction and real estate professionals. And of course, who wouldn’t want to improve employee productivity. MGI estimates that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of their managers and other high-skill knowledge workers by 20 to 25 percent. (Now that’s something I can get excited about.)
To realize the benefits of social technology, many of us need to step out of our comfort zones and think differently about our organizational structures, processes, and cultures. The good news is that businesses, in general, are becoming less hierarchical and more open—key for social technologies to be effective. But it will also require a new level of trust, both within our own company walls and externally with our business partners.
How can you begin to take advantage of the new social tools? Join me as I continue to explore and write about the emerging new uses of social technology and how you can put those tools into practice professionally and within in your own construction or real estate business.
But first, let’s get social. How are you currently using social technology in your business? What questions do you have about today’s social media? Share with us in the comments below!
About the Author
Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.