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How Does A Social Intranet Differ From Social Media?

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How friendly are you with your colleagues? For example, would you invite a colleague to join you and your friends to spend time together on the weekend? Or are you friends with your coworkers on social media?

Everyone has a different perspective on out-of-the-workplace socializing with colleagues and management. However, being friends with at least some colleagues on social media is routine.

Companies that appreciate their staff need some degree of social connection outside of the workplace to use it to their advantage and build it into their team culture. ‘Teams that play together stay together‘. Creating community between employees encourages collaboration, increases job satisfaction, and is positive for the company culture.

Social Intranet Explained

A social intranet is an in-house communications solution that goes far beyond essential chat functions. Like any intranet, it is a private computer network – i.e. it’s not publically accessible. A cloud-based social intranet for business is a fast and full feature, and it integrates with just about everything from search to blogs, mobile apps for sharing information. The rise of remote working has also seen some of the intranets almost forgotten features take a front seat, including team meetings.

There are a plethora of apps to manage live discussion, video conferencing etc. However, businesses realise having their own social intranet enables the much-needed connection between workers while maintaining professional boundaries, i.e. decorum and etiquette.

Let’s face it, some discussions on social media like Facebook, Twitter can quickly take a turn for the worst and be like the wild west where anything goes and may fuel divisions between teams and coworkers when professional and private lives clash.

When your business has it’s own social intranet, it’s in control and can take action at any time to shut down a discussion that’s gotten off-topic.

Social Media Versus Social Intranet – Key Differences

Many social media platforms have created business-focused features to recognise that companies need a stable communications platform. What these platforms overlook are all the other critical functions that the social intranet serves. Beyond their crucial role in fostering community and building an influential company culture, which these platforms can theoretically manage, intranets also provide tools for sharing files, maintaining client information, onboarding new team members, and more.

Another significant difference between intranet and social media is that the social intranet integrates with other applications. For example, using an intranet can cut down on scattered and disorganized communication by integrating with G Suite tools. And since intranets often include multiple other chat functions, including video and screen sharing, these platforms centralize an array of core functions. This is what makes the difference between communication and collaboration.

Designed To Respond

The social intranet doesn’t just enable team members to communicate with each other within a company. When something goes wrong, the intranet can be a critical crisis communication platform, ensuring unified messaging. External messaging is essential, yes, but leadership needs to ensure that their team is on the same page, especially if it has attracted negative attention.

An intranet is critical for team communication, but it’s also a space that enables managers to provide leadership, whatever the location or circumstances – and leadership is crucial in a crisis.

Where Tools Meet Data

Your team members can exchange information, build community and a sense of company culture even when they’re remote working. An intranet also provides the business with tracking and measurement. Your business can have more control and analysis of employee productivity wherever they reside.

Like all technology, the software is only as good as it is useful. There will be a steep learning curve to get all the business working within the intranet rather than just visiting it once or twice a week.

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