Most of us have gotten so used to clicking the little blue “thumbs-up” in Facebook or the little heart in Twitter that we don’t give it a second thought. It’s only when we start seeing repeated ads for oat milk or cricket bats that we realize something else is going on behind the scenes. Social media platforms have found a way to match the things we “like” with the things that advertisers are selling - even when the relationship isn’t completely obvious.
In social networking terms clicking the “like” button creates what social network analysts call an edge, or a link between two nodes. Nodes and edges form a complex structure known as a social graph.
The Power of Social
The social graph is much more than just a way for advertisers to sell us stuff we’d have never thought to buy. Social networks can help us leverage key relationships at work, find information we need or share data in a more relevant fashion.
Organizations that use online social networking internally are likely to be 7% more productive than those without social networks. While that number might not be jaw-dropping think of it as the thin edge of the wedge. When a company provides internal social tools to employees, they can expect a 20% boost in employee satisfaction overall.
Faves, High Fives, and Fans
Hitting the “like” button does two things inside an organization. The first effect is immediate - the employee receiving the recognition feels affirmed. This reinforces employee tendencies to contribute content and to highlight behaviors that strengthen company values.
The second effect is not quite as obvious. “Liking” content inside a company creates an edge on the social graph, connecting two employees and building the internal social network. “Likes” can grow into powerful data conduits for sharing and collaboration.
At TemboSocial our products have the ability to build and reinforce an edge. Let’s say one employee sends a coworker a “Thanks!” for a job well-done using TemboSocial Recognition. Teammates can chip in their approval with a thumbs-up or a quick comment.
Our built-in reporting gives managers a view of these interactions, making influencers and connectors within the organization discoverable. This gives team leaders the ability to better understand the networked structure of the organization and improve communication where it might seem to be lacking.
Giving Employees Permission to Network
Departments with strong sales teams know the power of networking both inside and outside the organization. Other teams are still playing catch-up, with employees working mainly in small teams or possibly cross-functionally in intramural work cells.
Systems like TemboSocial Recognition can encourage workers to move outside their own clusters and see what others are doing in the organization, making employees smarter about company business. Taking the time to add a thumb’s up can be just the start of building a social structure that can accomplish amazing things inside the enterprise.