Here’s an excerpt from an interesting post by Eric Schwartzman that appeared on ScottMonty.com (the head of social media for Ford Motor Company):
It is now popular wisdom that Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are good places for businesses to market their products and services. Migrating external communications to the social web turns customer service into public relations, and minimizes call center demand. But what if you want to use a social network to collaborate internally?
The idea of using a public social media site to work on private, internal projects seems kind of counter-intuitive to me. As Schwartzman points out, “information that could be public should be transitioned to social media, but proprietary information should remain under wraps in email, on the phone and in meetings”. So why even bother with this question?
Well, the development of private, internal social networks such as Beluga and GroupMe have given the often boring field of B2B sales and inter-company wheelings-and-dealings the fun, interactive atmosphere that have made traditional social media sites so popular. But will they become mainstream? Google Wave certainly didn’t. Salesforce.com’s Chatter service is certainly popular, though, especially since they made the service free in February.
What do you think? Are private social networks the next step for B2B sales and communications? Or will the traditional mode of conference calls and face-to-face meetings stand the test of time?