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Incorporating Social Media

Most companies still roll with outdated 20th century business models, and a lot of companies are still having problems with employees using corporate time to post updates to facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Meanwhile, a movement towards communication on a scale which we’ve never seen before works its way like domino’s, both in new business models as in ways of communicating.The same thing goes for downloading music/movies/games/tv shows/even classified files (think WikiLeaks). The consumer already does it, demands it, and it can’t be stopped. Nope, not anymore. Probably never.

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Our world is becoming increasingly transparent, others would say that we’re losing a lot of our privacy. For both reasoning’s there

are good arguments, though with transparency also comes trust .Since the example of WikiLeaks showed us that even for the Pentagon it now is pretty much impossible to keep information obscure and hidden from the public, we’re remembered that with one weak link in the security-by-obscurity model, it can all be out in the open within no-time.We can now tell that information, never before in human history, has spread faster then ever over the last decade, since the rising of the internet.

This can be beneficial in all sorts of ways. Think; medical inventions, technological inventions, the ease to communicate with one another wherever you are, organizing group experiences in every way possible and maybe even world peace. Who knows?

The younger generation therefore is more and more working in terms of collective development and social collaboration. An idea is no longer a proprietary of one, or obscure by means to hold it to one-self. Nowadays, idea’s are there more often to spread, improve and grow in cooperation with others who are like-minded. On the flip-side, you may think, this also brings the ‘risk’ of employees publishing ‘corporate secrets’ online.
Could this ever be turned into something positive?

By giving your employees more ownership over their own work, by means of letting them talk about what they’re doing, you also put responsibility in their own hands for what they are doing. So when they make a mistake, or experience a learning moment (whatever you want to call it), colleagues or others, maybe even customers, will correct them and point them at it. This all comes from the collective mind which forms a new 2-way directed communication medium, called the interwebs.

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On the other hand, your customers are probably already talking about you on all sorts of social media. Wouldn’t it be nice to join their conversation? But wait, what if there’s an unhappy customer talking bad about you? You could of course pick up this signal to then turn it into something positive. Show them that you’re also out there and are willing to help them, also with gathering whatever sort of information about your product and/or service they’re looking for. Lot’s of companies already operate in this fashion. Those who don’t are already behind.

So, welcome to the future Scotty. There’s a whole new century out there.

Younger generations will find it even more obvious to use these media as ways to easily communicate with each other, since many others are already making use of them en masse. In their private life, at work or in whatever community they belong to, this is the way people communicate in the 21st century.

Those companies that get along with these thoughts and this way of letting their workers get the best out of themselves and others, will be those that make a head-start into the new millennium. Older-fashioned companies will be able to hold it off for maybe a little longer, but at some point will have to admit that they’re fighting to stop something which already happened.

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