There are some great social media tools out there that can used by business professionals for corporate social networking and for use at corporate events. We understand that time is at a premium when it comes to social media within an organisation, so we’ve put together a list of the top tools out there that can help you to become more effective at corporate social networking.
Smart companies are finding ways to introduce social technologies into the way they do business, encouraging collaboration within the organisation. These tools help you to integrate social media with your day to day business and to make the most out of your activities. There are many that could make the list such as Radian 6, Hootsuite, Google Docs, but we want to look at those tools that you might not know about yet!
Share meeting content on an iPad
Conde Nast has just announced a new iPad application in partnership with LinkedIn, designed to facilitate easy sharing of content between meeting/conference attendees, easily integrating the virtual with the real world. Called ‘Idea Flight’, the app allows you to control meetings through iPads by syncing many iPads under one ‘pilot’ device. Lots of people like to bring out iPads in meetings now, but it doesn’t lend itself to a great experience by your audience, as you have to crowd around one screen. With the Idea Flight app, all the iPads are synced, allowing attendees to stay engaged with your presentation on their own device. Anyone who sits through meetings regularly would welcome something like this that can add a bit of excitement to the process and this is a great, free tool that people should be utilizing. Aside from the meeting process itself, there are some great additional features for post-meeting, such as the ability to send invitation requests on LinkedIn and the option to send attendees the meeting material to download.
Dropbox is a fantastic application for businesses, allowing you to easily store files ‘in the cloud,’ within the Dropbox site. Users can create their own folders within Dropbox, syncing with their own computer so that every time users save a document, it’s also saved in Dropbox, allowing users to access the document anywhere. Features also include the ability to share entire folders with collaborators, eliminating the need to send zip files or use services such as Yousendit, which can sometimes take too long or cause problems for the recipient. If you’re using Dropbox, you should also be using Dropbox for iPhone, which allows you to access your files wherever you are. You can also upload content via the iPhone app, including photos and videos which will then be accessible online or wherever your Dropbox account is synced to. For more on Dropbox, see our recent story: The Top 10 Best Dropbox Services, Addons and Hacks.
Often when you’re communicating something to your internal stakeholders, clients, prospects or colleagues, a screencast is the best option for this as it presents the content in an easy to follow format and keeps users engaged. Imagine writing out a PDF for example of how to access your company’s new intranet, or instead sharing this with employees via a quick screencast? There are quite a few screen capture services out there, but Screenr is certainly one of the best. You can create screencasts easily, within one click and simply share these with other people via a link. The ease of use is the best thing about this site and there’s also no need to create an account to set up a screencast.
While many companies are creating great content, how you choose to present this to users is just as important. Storify is a great app that allows you to do this easily and is essentially a new form of a content management system that can be used by organisations to great effect either internally or externally. Storify allows you to create online storyboards of the content you find with a simple click and drag system, allowing you to add the links and content that’s of interest to you, which can be embedded into pretty much any website.
Storify has just come out of private beta and has already raised $2m in funding in February of this year. [See our launch story here: Storify and the search for curation] While Storify is designed for use by anyone, I think there’s a great opportunity for businesses here, who want to share important content between employees in a way that will keep them engaged and interested. Check out a demo of Storify below.
‘Apply with LinkedIn’ button
This is an excellent new widget available from LinkedIn. It created a new button for sites, that allows you to add an ‘apply with LinkedIn‘ button to job listings. This is good news both for employers and job-seekers as it removes a lot of the hassle out of the process of applying for a job, when a lot of the information the prospective employer needs is already on LinkedIn. The button will be called ‘Apply with LinkedIn’ and though it’s yet to roll out, we feel it deserves its place on the list as it presents such a good opportunity for organisations. The button allows people to submit their LinkedIn profile as the CV, with the option to edit it before it’s sent. And let’s be honest, looking up a candidate on LinkedIn is usually the next step upon receiving a submission anyway, so this just makes it that much easier. There are also planned features such as data sorting to ease the process of organising data by the employer. The button will be free to use at first, but I could see this becoming a paid feature by LinkedIn, particularly with its pressure to monetise fast after its recent IPO.
Yammer for mobile
Yammer is an excellent tool for encouraging communication between employees, that we’ve covered previously. But with the nature of remote working and the increase in work done via the mobile, organisations need solutions that can be flexible. Yammer is now available as an app across a range of services, including iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. The app allows you to sync your desktop application with your mobile application, retaining key features such as polls, events, questions and ideas. Introducing Yammer into the workplace is no small undertaking, particularly for larger organisations, but with the right education for employees it can radically change the way colleagues collaborate and share information. While some businesses might see this as just another distraction in the workplace, if you put effort into making this really work for you and encouraging the right kind of connections between employees, it can help you become efficient and more importantly, connected.
This is an essential tool both for established businesses as well as startups who might be deciding on their new company name. Namechecklist allows you to search for available domains as well as social media sites to see if your desired brand or username is available. This is a hugely important consideration for businesses in two respects. Firstly, if you’re setting up profiles on social media sites, it’s important to keep the same names for consistency. You should be using this site even if you’re not active in all the networks, to safeguard for the future. Secondly, it’s a good way of spotting where your brand name isn’t available, meaning that someone got there before you. In this way you could possibly discover spoof accounts, or accounts that are in breach of your business name. The site is free to use, with links displayed next to each social network when you search, allowing you to create your account easily.