There are vastly amount of organisations that successfully adopt the social technologies with their businesses while others face challenges in managing/utilising them (e.g. lack of knowledge in the social technologies’ usage, limitation in organisational resources). Among the industrial sub-sectors that mentioned in the McKinsey Global Institute’s 2012 report, Professional Services are one of the sectors that mostly gains the high revenue’s rate from implementing Enterprise 2.0 through the use of the available social technologies. For this post, I decide to choose ‘HP’ as an organisation from the following sector and discuss it in details about how its business gets enhanced from the use of its social media tools.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) is one of the world largest multinational IT corporations that provides broad types of its IT services and products to serve all levels of consumers ranging from small to large enterprises. Apart from its official website, HP also has its social media channels to mainly engage its loyal customers as well as expanding its audiences’ base. These can be categorized into two main groups, including internal channels (HP blogs) and external channels ( Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube).
For the internal channels, HP has aimed to use its own corporation’s blogs (367 Addison Ave, Data Central Blog, Enterprise Business and The Next Bench) along with its support forums for making interactions between its staffs and its customers. These include communicating and assisting its customers with their IT issues, centralizing its repetitive generated data into one place (e.g. the annual reports, announcements, activities and events) and establishing its own knowledge sharing centre within the scope of the technologies. In addition, using blogs and forums does not only help HP to improve its customer services in the online side, but it also creates a community inside of a community. This is where some of the customers intend to use their technical knowledge and experiences to help each other solving their issues along with the HP staffs’ support.
Apart from the organisational blogs, HP prefers to use other of its social technologies (e.g. LinkedIn and Twitter) to focus more on marketing and sales. With LinkedIn, HP has more opportunities to approach high levels of customers and experts from various work fields (e.g. analysts, company owners and directors). They are those who give recommendations and reviews to the particular HP products. From this, it builds some sorts of the guarantees to the organisation as well as gaining customers’ insights and strengthening the customers’ relations.
Moreover, HP has effectively used Twitter in terms of promoting its products. Offering special products’ deals and updating new released products are main examples that the organisation use Twitter to spread its messages to broader communities for its business purposes.
To link what I have mentioned above with the value levers from the McKinsey Global Institute’s report, I think that the case of HP really fits well to the levers in both function areas of ‘Marketing and Sales’ and ‘Customer Service’. Not only HP uses the social technologies to increase the productivity on the sales’ side (e.g. gaining consumers’ insights, saving time for advertising the products/services), but it also considers to improve the connections with its customers to reach the global standards. With its various online communication channels, this resolves the traditional way of contacting the company (e.g. sending/exchanging emails, ) in which the customers can directly engage and ask for help through either the blogs/forums or other of its social media sites such Facebook and Twitter.
Although almost all of the organisations in the Professional Services’ sector take advantages from adopting the social technologies, but they should concern about any related issues and consequences from all actions that caused by the personal use of the technologies. To avoid any reputation’s damage and keep the secured environment, the responsibility belongs to all users (especially organisational members) to keep their eyes on all sorts of threaten activities as ensuring the business flow of the organisations and the long term of the partners/consumers’ relationships.