Wednesday, October 6, 2010

With Facebook, Who Needs an Intranet?

Company intranets often are underused by employees and frequently require a ton of time to keep current. The result is more pain for already overworked corporate communicators. It seems at times that intranets continue to exist because they’ve always existed.

So, what is the purpose of your intranet? 

Ideally, your intranet is a place where employees can share information. It is a portal for essential programs and often serves as a place where workers can catch up on the latest news at the corporation. Anecdotal evidence tell us that employees will use the portal to launch programs for human resources, accounting and other similar programs. But it seems that other functions are seen as less than useful.

In a Web 2.0 world, we need to take a new approach. With more than 600 million Facebook users worldwide, it’s a given that many of your employees are “hanging out” on this social media monster. You would probably be surprised to find that the truck drivers, mill workers and those who handle other field jobs at your company often stop by Facebook in the evening. These same people rarely if ever stop by your intranet.

The moral of this story? Meet them online where they already live.

By creating a closed Facebook group, you can invite employees to join a company-sponsored community that does not require them to friend each other, but does allow them to interact. And it comes pre-loaded with all the functionality your intranet would have, if only you could find room in your budget. It shares video, audio and pictures, as well as quick news. And it can be customized to take on a company identity. Best of all, in a closed group, what is said in the group stays in the group, allowing for meaningful interaction.

Facebook. It’s your next intranet.

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