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Social networking tools for organisations

Recently I have been involved in a number of conversations, both internally and with clients, about the value and role of social networking tools for organisations. There appear to be two main themes: (a) how can they add value to my business; and (b) if we don’t have them, how do we attract and retain the new generation of workers for whom social networking tools are part of their everyday existence?

Now, I must be honest and say that I am a big believer in good, old-fashioned, face-to-face communication and if I really want to get something done or find something out, I’m more likely to go and talk to someone in person than email, Facebook or Twitter. Of course, not knowing how to Twitter (or ‘tweet’) is somewhat of an obstacle, I guess. But, before you write me off as ‘out-of-touch,’ I do have a Facebook page and I use it regularly; and despite my lack of Twittering knowledge, my thinking around this is changing as several Intergenites have recounted instances where Twitter has provided business value.

For me, the question is: Are social networking and face-to-face communication mutually exclusive? And does my proclivity towards ‘chatter’ make me irrelevant in the workplace of tomorrow? Thankfully not, according to the latest MIT research. This study, carried out by researchers at MIT and New York University indicates that face-to-face interaction is positively linked to productivity.

Now, you must excuse me as I slink off to absorb ‘Twittering 101’.....

Posted by: Sally Jansen van Vuuren, Principal Management Consultant | 24 June 2009

Tags: Social Networking, communication

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