It’s difficult not to see that social media is a critical part of our lives and today’s connected world. The same statement applies to companies where many businesses have considered or are trying to implement an internal social media platform.

There are multiple benefits of having such a platform, with the main ones outlined below:

  • Helping employees collaborate and share information
  • Give everyone in the company a stronger voice
  • Strengthen company culture
  • Pull up discussions, data and more within few minutes
  • Generate ideas and work on projects in real-time

A great example of a company taking advantage of all these benefits is Lenovo. Their social media marketing lead, Roderick Strother, revealed that external social media channels like Twitter and Facebook can feel too noisy within a company.

Internal social media is a growing trend. Employees share most external news about the company as well as presentations and videos from internal company gatherings and other events.

Building an internal social network

Internal social networks are a leapfrog opportunity. Organizations who want to build their own platforms have to go through the following steps:

Choose a cloud provider

Cloud computing plays a vital role in storing data shared on social networks. A large number of service providers like Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure enable companies to access virtualized resources. Cloud computing is also ideal for big data analytics, allowing users to access unstructured and structured data.

Of course, it should be noted that cloud security is also important. Not having it can lead to security gaps, loss of data that would be shared on the network, performance lag, poor ROI, and difficulty in compliance. With effective protection that maximizes the potential of the social network, you can secure critical applications and data across your digital environment and platform.

Get developers on board

Development that’s PHP-based or based on another language should be set up on the local company network. Then, you should get developers and designers to build and configure the complete solution. There are several types of development engines you could use; perhaps a suitable one would be suggested by your cloud service provider as you’d be hosting a lot of data on their servers.

Sites like Udemy has video lectures that existing employees (from the IT department) can take inspiration from. Knowledge about basic programming languages like Javascript, CSS and XHTML can be refreshed while staff members can update their skills by acquiring knowledge on AJAX, WebServices, jQuery, OOP, Python, MS SQLServer database and more.

Ideally, if there’s an IT department inside the company, internal resources should be used to build the network rather than outsourcing the entire project, even if it costs more. That’s because internal developers know the company culture well and are likely to develop features that’d actually be used by employees.

Prototype and launch

Prototyping is important to see the response the social network receives from staff members. There is a risk of failure because employees might be accustomed to external social networks. That’s where it’s important to communicate the importance of company privacy and how internal networks allow room for collaboration and building of company culture.

The prototype should be changed if the initial response is negative. After employees give a positive response to a certain prototype, then its features and development modules can be used to make an actual platform and launch within the company.