When talking to entrepreneurs, a topic that frequently arises is social media. Especially with younger, more tech-savvy business people, their first concern is how they will beef up their online presence to benefit their business. Is social media a great tool for communicating with clients? Yes. Is it necessary for your small business? It depends.Being able to communicate with your customers and other people in your industry can be very useful for many things, such as: obtaining feedback, researching industry information, addressing negative comments, receiving positive reviews, etc. However, sometimes the investment in time and resources does not warrant the return.
What I would like to showcase today is how one Canadian company used a social media platform INTERNALLY to increase the value that they brought to their customers, and how you can use the same type of technology for your organization at virtually no cost.
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), a growing company that has retail stores located across Canada, needed a new system to communicate internally. They harnessed the power of technology to create a lateral communication system very similar to Facebook. Unlike the traditional top down communication one would expect from a big company, this communication system allowed all employees to communicate, either from groups of stores, or company wide. The employees were able to use this technology to create a database of information to assist other employees provide greater value to their customers.Although MEC had a large budget to create a custom system, a smaller business could operate within the Facebook or Google frameworks to collaborate on documents, share media, or manage special events - all for free.
"Mountain Equipment Co-op's Elegant Email Solution | OpenRoad Communications | BCBusiness." Vancouver & BC Business News, Articles & Commentary | BCBusiness. Web. 25 Apr. 2011. http://www.bcbusinessonline.ca/2011/01/19/mec-mondo-internal-communications