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Over the past decade the world has watched social media become a very powerful tool in many different facets.  With this comes a surprising fact; out of all Fortune 500 CEO’s only 20 have a Twitter account. This shows the large amount of resistance coming from executives within very successful companies.  The common perception among the C-suite community that social media is at best a weak PR tool that serves more as a distraction for employees.  This may also be due to the fact these companies are very successful with driving profit through their current marketing styles.  However there is yet another way social media can effect a bottom line, cost cutting.

Recently a study was done that included 4,200 companies.  This study showed that companies could possible unlock anywhere between $900 billion to $1.3 Trillion.  The majority of the savings were shown to come from the ease of communication.  The communication within each company was improved in overall efficiency.  Employees were far from distracted; they were communicating quicker in an open environment, where they collaborated on many ideas. 

The tools that are being used are unique including; internal networks, wikis and real time chats.  R&D teams completing their day to day tasks are becoming much more resourceful.  The efficiency has been seen in tasks like brainstorming products, sales leads, operations, distribution of forecasts and monitoring supply chains.

The largest amount of potential is in the knowledge of employees within the company.  With email as the primary form of communication information becomes trapped within inboxes until it is read and released by the recipient.  With these new tools managers will be able to find who knows what about projects and who are contributing the most on a team.  The common knowledge will allow managers to be much more efficient gathering necessary information.  The process becomes faster and projects are completed quicker with more valuable insight.

An up and coming technology is Yammer.  Yammer allows for Facebook type interaction within an office.  The employees will be able to have internal conversation threads.  The feedback will provide solutions and innovative thinking to be common knowledge amongst anyone in the company.  Everything that is done in the office from a communication standpoint can be done through social media.  With the ease of use, speed and magnitude of freely accessible information the business relationship abilities are endless.

This is not falling upon deaf ears either.  In the last year companies like; Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle have spent upward of $2.5 billion snatching up social media tools to add to their enterprise suites.  These tools will be standard in offices across the country before we know it.

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