Going the extra mile: how strong business relationships can give you the edge

TRP: How can we use social media platforms in internal corporate communications? What are the benefits?

KC: Though most HR teams have already got on the social media 'bandwagon', the ones that will see the most impact in organisations are those that use this as the platform of choice to communicate with their employees.

We have already seen organisations and independent professionals turn to social media for marketing and communication purposes.

Social media has become an important tool for HR professionals too; and will become increasingly central to how people work, how workers engage with each other and how distributed workplaces collaborate.

The days of distributing information, communicating policies or sharing program updates via email are drawing to an end, as sharing via social networking platforms allows communication to be more personalised and more immediate.

TRP: How will social media activities be tied to 'normal' business operations and how do they fit in with corporate objectives?

KC: Companies should make sure that their social media activities tie in with the objectives in every other department of the company – sales, marketing, research & development, production etc.

As social media is the perfect platform to showcase what is going within the company, social media strategists need to be on top of every activity in the company.

Not only are social media platforms the perfect stage for advertising activities but they are also the perfect tools to support the achievement of corporate objectives.

Social media gives businesses the unique opportunity to showcase their expertise and thought leadership in an innovative way.

Past social media campaigns have shown that companies that truly understand how to use social media to support and round out their business activities will see the most benefit. In return, this will strengthen their brand image in the eyes of the audience and help to differentiate them from the competition.

To give you an example, HCL Technologies ran a recruitment campaign solely on Twitter. By using this channel to interview candidates they were not only able to find a new marketing consultant, but it also allowed HCL to trend on Twitter in India for five days ahead of two prime ministerial candidates!

TRP: Is there are a way to measure the more intangible results of a social media campaign?

KC: There are three major metrics that talk about the intangible benefits of a social campaign:

Conversion rate: number of conversions per post. On Twitter, this is replies to a tweet, or on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, it's a comment on the pin, post, or photo.

Amplification rate: any time a post is retweeted or re-shared, it's being amplified. All the networks allow you to do this, so think of this one as the number of re-pins, retweets, or shares of a particular post.

Applause rate: every social network out there has an "easy" touch point to show appreciation, or applause, if you will. Twitter has favourites, Facebook has likes, Google+ has plusses, even most blogs have thumbs up or down-votes. So the applause rate is based on the number of "likes" each post gets.

TRP: What will the "social" enterprise of the future look like?

KC: As social media becomes more common in everyday business life, companies will have to work harder to become visible and make their voices heard. Thought provoking, interesting, original content and interaction with the audience will become more important than ever.

Connecting business partners and clients with the brand and putting this into perspective with world events creates a comprehensive picture of the environment both company and target audience operate in.

Making a long story short, intensive interaction and communication will bring company and community to the same level and make businesses more transparent than ever, almost resulting in a "community managed" company.