The role of the Internet in business communication is varied and has come to be of great importance. It can be used to increase effective communication both internally and externally. Use of the Internet can make it easier to connect with others quickly and more often, in addition to exchanging a wide array of media types. It can be used to communicate purchase information to vendors and by customers to ask questions. The factors that make the role of the Internet in business communication important can also cause conflict, depending on the way the medium is used.
Email is one of the most popular uses of the internet in business communication. It is widely used for both internal and external communications. Email enables users to communicate with each other at any hour and from several locations. It can also be an effective way to keep track of requests, conversations, and other important data as it provides a record of what was communicated. One of the most significant internal uses of the internet in business communication is the intranet site. This is a website that is only available to the members of a particular organization. It typically serves as both a sort of community bulletin board and a place to access forms, information, and other resources that are necessary or helpful for employees. Most intranet sites are password protected and some even have sections which are only available to certain groups of employees.
The transmission of the internet has revolutionized the business arena. The use of the Internet is changing high-tech marketing overnight while different industries have been trying to use it as part of their marketing strategy. It does not only reconfigured the way different firms do business and the way the consumers buy goods and services but it also become instrumental in transforming the value chain from manufacturers to retailers to consumers, creating a new retail distribution channel. Website development is a powerful tool used by different business organizations around the world. It is defined as the process of achieving business objectives utilizing electronic communications technology.
Email has evolved into probably the most common form of communication today. Set up mailing lists in your email software for internal communications, vendor news, press releases and customer information. Use a professional email address, preferably with your company’s website address as the suffix, rather than sending from a personal account or a free Web account. Sending bulk emails can result in many of your messages ending up in recipients’ spam folders — or worse, violating the CAN-SPAM act. Contact your Internet service provider to learn if you can send bulk emails from your account and what precautions you’ll need to take to stay within the law, such as including an opt-out provision for people on your list. The convenience of email can lead to impersonal communications — send well wishes and thank-you notes using cards and letters.
For generations, the press release has been the standard form of communications between business and the media. Create a list of media contacts and send news regularly. Put a date on each press release and supply contact information for your business, including a person’s name, telephone number and email address. Don’t talk about yourself to start your press release — focus on the reader, providing information that makes your information news, not advertising or promotional content. To make sure your press release doesn’t get lost in a flurry of emails to an editor’s inbox, send a print copy of your release via snail mail and follow up with an email.
Contact Management Systems-
A contact management system is a database of people important to your business that you can sort in a variety of ways. The database should allow you to create lists of customers, clients, media contacts or vendors by contact type, area code, ZIP code, state or other parameters you set up in your database. Some companies create their own contact management systems, others buy sophisticated programs, while others use budget-friendly Web services. In addition to simple email lists, some programs let you create newsletters or other marketing tools to increase your interaction with customers.
Your business will seem more professional if you have a dedicated phone line rather than taking calls on your cellphone. Phone systems allow you to use one phone for multiple lines, play music while customers are on hold, transfer calls to other employees, make conference calls and set up mailboxes. When you buy service from a phone company or your Internet service provider, you might be able to get the phone free, along with a number of upgraded services and free customer support.
Bringing people together for meetings with video conferencing not only creates a more intimate meeting, but also saves your company thousands of dollars in travel costs. Unlike a telephone conference call, a video call lets different participants show charts, make demonstrations and share drawings, models and mockups. Many computers come with built-in cameras, and attachments are available for many others. Test video conferencing with one other person, then expand to try a few internal meetings before you commit to an important videoconference.
If your business involves frequently collaboration with many different colleagues, clients and vendors, consider using Campfire for real-time chats. Campfire is like instant messaging, but designed exclusively for groups. It also works with any IM client.
Campfire’s Web-based, group-chat tool lets you set up password-protected chat rooms and invite others to chat, collaborate and make decisions. You can upload an image file, and it displays right in the chat room for all chat members to see. You can even invite the entire chat room to a conference call with one click. Since it’s Web-based, you don’t need to download, install or configure anything—all you need is a Web browser and an Internet connection. Best of all, a basic package will cost you just $12 per month.
Present.ly allows individuals to post short, frequent updates that are tracked or “followed” by others, similar to Twitter. But unlike Twitter, Present.ly provides a secure and private way to do this, enabling users to share updates among members of a company without them being visible to the outside world. The basic service is free.
Present.ly enables you to share images, documents, video and audioclips with colleagues. The app is a great way to get quick feedback on a new design mockup, send out new policy documents for human resources or even post pictures from the company picnic. You can also keep the team conversations focused by creating groups for each project or topic of discussion—users will receive messages that are relevant to the topic at hand, and they’re free to move between conversations as desired.
Does your business have team members in multiple locations, or are you a virtual team scattered across the globe? You might want to check out Yammer, which allows you to set up a private social network for your business to communicate, collaborate and share expertise via an easy-to-use, Web-based interface.
While the product’s wide range of features makes it appealing to large organizations, small businesses appreciate that Yammer lets you upload and share documents with co-workers and create communities for cases when you’re working with partners outside of your network. SMB owners will also like the price: the basic service is free.
4. Cube Tree
Another tool to check out is Cube Tree, Success Factors’ social collaboration technology. Cube Tree combines collaboration tools with a private social network. Users can keep each other up-to-date on their activities by following people and groups of interest, and by posting updates and comments. Cube Tree advances a team’s ability to work efficiently in public and private groups by drawing on a wide array of tools, including blogs, wikis, social docs, polls and task tracking. Cube Tree Basic is free, and Cube Tree Premier costs $5 per month per user.
Small businesses that are already using Success Factors’ Employee Performance Management software will also like the fact that Cube Tree uses the same profile and organization data available in other Success Factors modules. For example, when used as part of the recruiting process, Cube Tree can accelerate recruiting by simplifying resume review and discussion on candidates, and it also streamlines the new hire’s onboarding process.
5. Mango Spring
Another one-stop-shop for social communication and collaboration is MangoSpring’s MangoSuite, which includes microblogging, chat, document sharing and project management applications that work together in one integrated platform. You can mix and match the functionality you need, and you’ll only pay for what you use, with prices starting at just a few dollars per user per month.
MangoSuite pulls together all of your employees’ ideas, deadlines, milestones, threaded discussions, brainstorms, exchanged links and uploaded documents and makes them accessible in a real-time enterprise micro-blogging platform. Similar to how Facebook‘s feed and commenting functionality works, sharing something with the group or project members generates a feed that is visible to the relevant team; users can then comment on any feed item.
If your company’s online life revolves around e-mail, WizeHive may be the choice for you. WizeHive is a collaboration platform that allows groups to share conversations, notes, tasks, calendars, files and other information in secure, private workspaces. Information can be entered from within WizeHive or via e-mail, Twitter and mobile devices.
WizeHive integrates with any e-mail program—you can create new notes or tasks by simply sending a message to a special WizeHive e-mail address with the name of the workspace in the subject. Likewise, you can also receive WizeHive communications from your colleagues via e-mail. The starter package is free for up to three workspaces and 5GB of storage
Need your social communications technology to integrate with your existing infrastructure? Check out Socialcast. Socialcast allows companies to integrate their traditional systems (such as CRM and ERP) with its social software platform, enabling employees to collaborate and take action on the core processes being carried out by those systems.
In terms of core functionality, Socialcast offers internal activity streams, enterprise microblogging, employee profiles, groups, integration with SharePoint and even a desktop app and mobile version. The basic service is free, but for a few dollars per user per month, Socialcast offers Socialcast Reach, which enables integration with CRM systems, ERP systems, HR business systems and more.
8. Facebook Groups
Don’t need any of these bells and whistles? You might want to look at Facebook Groups. Your employees are already on Facebook, they know how to use it, and it’s free. While Facebook Groups lacks much of the advanced features of other social collaboration technology, it has just enough functionality for staff to collaborate and work together. They can use Facebook Groups for real-time collaboration, do group chat using Facebook chat, and post photos, news and updates to the group feed. It even has basic document sharing and editing functionality.
Best of all, if you want your team to promote your business to their Facebook network, you don’t have to send out an e-mail and hope people share—all you have to do is post an item to your Facebook feed and employees can “share” with just one click.
To summarize it all, the emergence of the Internet has undoubtedly changed the business environment in which the firms around the world operate. It has been stated that the Internet has altered industry structure by reducing the costs of coordination in the value chain. The Internet has become a source of competitive benefit by bestowing companies with new ways to outperform their competitors, and spawned new businesses by providing more information. Moreover, the Internet evolves to encourage direct interaction between producers and consumers in markets where consumers have more complete information about goods and services, enabling them to exert substantial control. Further, the rapid growth of the internet has been one of the key factors in changing the rules on how businesses’ compete in the market.
The reach and speed of the enhancement along with the distinctive characteristics of interactivity and customization intensify the need for having a modern business approach from the competing industry on the internet serving in their attempt to oppose or leverage the popularity of other competitors. Herein, the strategic importance of the internet in terms of communication is especially evident for the business industry as products/services and the internet has been able to create a to maintain good customer interaction and business transactions. With millions of websites online, the Internet is considered as the most essential communication medium in the world and with millions of customers around, many organisations will have the opportunity to provide the needs of a specific market.
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