In the global economy, most applications of social technologies are currently underutilized. In just a few years, social technologies have managed to add speed and scale to social interactions on the Internet. Whether it is consumer products or political statements, people all over the world are constantly and extensively using social media platforms to research and share information. Businesses use these platforms in two ways: They can use these platforms to generate broader insights and, on the other hand, to communicate targeted precise messages and offers.Underutilization of opportunitiesIn fact, 72%, or nearly three-quarters, of all businesses use social technologies in some way.
But only a very tiny fraction of them are even close to achieving the full benefits that are possible with this technology. In fact, the best applications of social technology remain largely untapped. To be sure, many companies are developing ways to reach consumers through social technology and glean insights from it for product development, customer service, and marketing. But the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has found that in the utility of social technologies, there is twice the value in improving communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within a company and between two or more companies.
The Institute estimates that the potential increases in productivity when all the opportunities are fully exploited are between 20% and 25%.Where do the opportunities lie specifically?Looking at the large pot of potential improvement, about two-thirds of it lies in optimizing communication and collaboration within a company and between two and more companies. The starting point for this statement is the fact that the average worker spends an estimated 28% of their work time managing email. Nearly 20 hours of work time is spent searching for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help. In-house social technologies could reduce the amount of time employees spend searching for internal information by 35%.The amount of value created depends on the industry and the sources of valueThe amount of value that individual companies could gain from more consistent use of social technologies depends heavily on the industry in which the company operates and also on the sources of value that are important to the company.
For example, companies with a high proportion of interactive workers can achieve huge increases in productivity through faster information sharing and smoother collaboration. Companies that rely on influencing consumers, for example, can add significant value through social media interaction. More information on the topic can be found via market analysis.