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Should you build enterprise social network from scratch?

Customized enterprise social networks can truly echo the personality and goals of a company. See how.

Mckinsey had predicted a few years ago that 70% of companies would have an Enterprise Social Network by 2017. Now as the year ends, enterprise social networks indeed have become mainstream. The global market for enterprise social networking is forecast to reach US $4.8 billion by 2020.

But here’s the deal – how truly useful are enterprise social networks? Or a deeper question – why can’t companies that customize their existing enterprise social networks get their employees to work on them? The tricky part with a corporate social network software is that statistics don’t tell the full story. The two pressing questions that every company using or considering to build an enterprise social network must ask are –
1. Does a large number of profiles mean all users are active?
2. Do usage metrics mean your ESN is also useful?

So when Facebook at Work claims that it has a 90% active rate among its beta users, what truly matters is the value created through this ESN. In 2017, more than two thirds of EU enterprises employing 250 or more people (68 %) had an account and used some kind of social network. By contrast, just over one out of four enterprises (43 %) employing 10 to 49 people used social networks. Despite this contrast–
Why do you need an enterprise social network?
- To not only get things done but also to encourage collaboration
- To sustain knowledge base and make it sharable within the enterprise
- To speak with employees in the language they understand – social networking
- To foster meaningful relationships and reward creativity

Yes, ESNs or corporate social network software became trending almost ten years ago in one or the other form. And companies did have the above goals in mind while creating them. But there are a few reasons, ESNs may not have worked for many of those companies –
- Bad user experience/interface
- Lack of incentivizing employees for using ESNs for idea generation and innovation
- Trying to solve existing communication gaps through ESN
- Customizing an old corporate social network software
- Lack of empathizing with employees in terms of what they want
- Lack of proper training and sensitization about its use

We at Vinfotech highly recommend building enterprise social networks from scratch. We have more than 100 social network projects in our portfolio and what we have learnt so far has steered us in many ways. If you are trying to solve managerial and administrative issues by just implementing a software, you will never get anywhere. It’s important to know and understand the goals behind implementing an enterprise social network.

Why should you build enterprise social network from scratch?

#1. Transparent communication

Once you have clear roles and hierarchies defined, and your communication channels are in place, the next stage for you is to make this communication transparent. A custom made corporate social network software for your company will add a smooth and free-flowing way of communication. When you engage your employees on a common network, they get a feeling like they own the context. As a result, they create their own language and ways to make communication heard or transmitted. When you achieve this transparency, your employees will feel motivated to voice their opinions, feedback or ideas that are key for your growth.

# 2 You can define the UI/UX

Custom made corporate social network will help you define the user experience and interface that suits a large part of your workforce. Of course every member is different and some ESNs will also involve vendors, freelancers and customers. But when you decide the protocol based on your understanding of company culture, team members will be more likely to adapt to the community and start embracing it. The reason why user experience matters is because it is a key motivator in making people work on ESNs.

# 3. Users prefer meaningful engagement over drab software

Features on a customized enterprise social networks allow users to choose the kind of engagement they love. They should get the feeling that this software is meant for more than work, it’s meant for growth and connectivity. ESNs need to come out of the ‘work software’ mode but become an organisation-wise culture. And that can happen only when you get to define everything on a customized software. You cannot force engagement but can make the software motivating enough for users to feel inspired.

# 4. Users want growth and empowerment

Your users – who are either millennials or Gen-Zs – have a natural need for engaging in an online community. It’s what they do in a large part of their daily life. These users are seeking opinions, validation and thoughts of peers. Now general social networks can create a larger community but they cannot bring about a more personalized approach to engagement. You get to create this sense of belongingness through a customized corporate social network software. You can get features that are specific to your users and community. This encourages users to share knowledge and edify each other. Such community feels empowered.

Vinfotech, the world leader in building social networks, is your partner and developer in the journey of creating an engaging community. We understand engagement and we have the right skills for making software work for human beings. If you are considering to build a corporate social network software, talk to us.

IN A NUTSHELL
  • Transparent communication
  • Customized UI and UX
  • Empowerment of users
  • Meaningful engagement

About Vinfotech

Vinfotech creates world's best social networks for employees, brands, interest groups and sports fans. We promise initial set of real engaged users to put turbo in your social network growth. Our award winning software vSocial™ allows us to build stellar customized communities faster and better. Our customers include Aston Martin, Burberry, Arabian Gulf League and Snapdeal.

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