Social networks have revolutionized the way people communicate and collaborate—not only among friends and family, but also in the workplace. Many companies are now implementing social communications in their business, especially those with multiple locations, to help them stay connected and simplify people's ability to share expertise, ideas and corporate information.
The good news is that there are a wide range of free or low-cost social collaboration tools to meet your business needs. This article for Open Forum by Leyl Master Black describes the benefits of eight popular tools for small business social communications, such as:
- Campfire - a Web-based, group-chat tool that can be password protected
- Present.ly - provides a secure and private way to share updates, images, documents, video and audio-clips with colleagues, without them being visible to the outside world
- Yammer - which allows you to set up a private social network for your business locations to communicate, collaborate and share expertise via an easy-to-use, Web-based interface
- and Socialcast – which allows companies to integrate their traditional systems (such as CRM and ERP) with its social software platform
The newly released Podio, unlike the more social networking focused collaboration platforms, follows Spaces, not users and allows you to add an infinite variety of free apps. With good write ups by Mashable, TechCrunch and GetApp.com, it's worth a look.
Along with all the tools to communicate with your colleagues and clients, there are now some handy ways to consolidate all your business & social network information in an interactive online contact card.
- Flavors.me is a simple and elegant way to aggregate all your online presence into one place. This site is simple to use and has a great tutorial that shows the unlimited creative ways to make your online home page.
- DooID has been around the longest and so is one of the most popular. The nice thing about DooID is that you are allowed more than one tiny section, basically expanding the idea of a mere signature area and turning it into a mini-website of links back to you.