The social media sensation spreads far and wide – so much so that the corporate world has started to take note, too. Out of Brazil, SocialBase is at the forefront of the trend with a cloud-based, SaaS model that helps businesses big and small implement effective social solutions in their organizations.
So what exactly does SocialBase do? Essentially, it improves internal communication and knowledge sharing by getting employees engaged and managing activities. The software can be modified and changed to adapt to the needs of each specific business and manager, essentially becoming an in-house social network.
The recognition of SocialBase helps us validate our business with a lot of people, who share with us their extensive experience in digital business. This encourages us to improve our business constantly and directly influences the quality of the product.
As part of its Desafio Brasil win, the SocialBase team traveled to Silicon Valley to accelerate the project. They subsequently launched a new version of the product and have increased efforts in outside markets as well. Ribas recently filled us in on what else is going on with the company and outlined his view of social media in the corporate realm.
Emily Stewart: The corporate social network thing is a bit of a contested issue. Where would you say the greatest value points are?
André Ribas: Intranet or other current tools to internal communications are not satisfactorily meeting the current needs of employees who engage in innovative and dynamic businesses, from small to large enterprises. By adopting SocialBase as an enterprise internal communication tool, our customers build more engaged and competitive teams within different company areas and improve their results. We explore the details of this subject in our e-book, which explains the benefits that enterprise social networking brings to the business.
ES: In what sort of environments are business social networks useful? When are they not?
AR: An enterprise social network is very useful for businesses that aim to improve their interaction between employees and to deploy a dynamic and modern approach to link their teams and areas. Actually, just about any company could use it, regardless the size and industry. However, some companies don’t decide to innovate their internal communications, and usually this is due to the lack of a supportive culture or because their processes are so operational that it’s better to prevent people from communicating. For instance, we see this in some call centers. In this case, our opinion is to first demonstrate the importance of using a corporate social network for renewing the organizational culture and identify niches where dynamic internal communication is essential to carry out the work. One of the most important initiatives we are promoting from the beginning is to produce educational materials to help managers organize the internal communication activities and show how such a modern tool as an enterprise social network could help.
ES: We all know that Brazilians love social media. But how do they act differently on work-related networks as opposed to platforms like Facebook and Twitter?
AR: That is an interesting question. In our first e-book, we discussed the options business leaders have regarding the use of social networking in their organizations: release, prohibit or organize. It was a recurring issue among customers and prospects. Does a social networking tool reduce productivity in my business? We are aligned with IDC when they state that enterprise social networks are a key component in decision making and productivity improvement. It is totally focused in the organization’s objectives and gives managers all the control over users and content. Many of our customers decided to use corporate social networks without restrictions, the same way they would use Facebook or Twitter. However, others prefer to use them strategically in small groups to solve specific problems surrounding integration and innovation. When the main purpose of the interaction and experience exchange is essentially professional, the company is strengthened, and employee engagement leads to a stronger corporate culture. In a few words, it is very clear in an enterprise social network that it is a working tool, and at this point Brazil, is equal to anywhere else in the world.
ES: Can you provide a specific case study of the impact you’ve had?
AR: One of our clients, called Nunesfarma, is a distributor of pharmaceutical products for public agencies. They used to disseminate internal information using a traditional corporate blog. The tool didn’t generate much interaction with the rest of the staff. To increase the integration, their marketing and people management teams chose to change the internal communication strategy. SocialBase was deployed, and nowadays, it is one of the main channels of information and exchange of ideas. Within user groups, people discuss each department with open conversations for all or just for specific groups. Even more, faster content retrieval brought more productivity for teams. This all occurs in an environment with total security, controlled by the managers of the company.