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Discover the Benefits of Workplace by Facebook: A private social network for your pallet or lumber business
Social Networks: New tools from companies like Facebook are making training, community development and human resources easier at small businesses. Find out how this technology can improve communication and business processes at your company.
By D.J. McKenna
Date Posted: 3/1/2017
New Social Networking Tools
Companies like Facebook are making training, community development and human resources easier at small businesses. Find out how this technology can improve communication and business processes at your company.
Fans of Facebook – and there are more than 1.7 billion of them – now have a near mirror-image of the social network they can use for their pallet-making business.
Dubbed ‘Workplace by Facebook,’ the new app offers all the familiar features that have made Facebook the world’s most popular digital meeting place.
The primary difference: Workplace by Facebook enables pallet and lumber businesses to use the familiar Facebook environment to create an entirely private social network for their employees and trusted trading partners. And it can be a great tool to improve corporate culture and training for employees.
“Workplace by Facebook re-imagines business communications by bringing the familiar social experience to the enterprise environment,” said Siddharth Bohra, chief business officer, LTI, an IT service provider.
David Meyer, vice president of product for OneLogin, an Internet credentials management company that partners with Workplace by Facebook, agreed, “Today’s modern workplaces recognize that people want to use tools that they are familiar with to collaborate at work.”
Pilot-tested a year before its release last fall, Workplace by Facebook is looking to muscle-in on other players already offering social networks for business, including Slack, Jive, Basecamp, Trello, Asana and MS Teams, a business social network still in development at Microsoft. Essentially, each of these social network environments enable a pallet-making business to create a searchable, interactive, highly flexible community, where management and staff can meet virtually to get projects done.
Moreover, each of the companies behind these social networks stress that they sweat the details when it comes to security, promising that your pallet business’ secrets will be safe in their secured cloud. Workplace by Facebook’s primary advantage, or course, is that the social network is already a comfortable shoe for millions of business people.
Millions of Millennials grew up on Facebook. And many of their parents and grandparents could not resist its siren’s call after they realized Facebook makes it a snap to keep up with family and friends – not to mention old girlfriends and boyfriends.
Key features pallet and lumber businesses will find in the Workplace by Facebook environment – which can be used on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops, include:
• Groups: The same groups Facebook users now join to form special interest communities are also in Workplace by Facebook. In the Workplace version, management and staff can use Groups to exchange ideas, photos, images, documents and other files to move a project forward.
• Multi-Company Groups: Pallet and lumber businesses interested in inviting trading partners to achieve a shared goal can also use Facebook Workplace to create multi-company groups. Essentially, you’ll be able to create certain groups that your trading partners can join, while still keep the rest of the groups in your Workplace private.
• News Feed: The lifeblood of any Facebook user, News Feed is also the central communications stream in Workplace version. Here you’ll receive continual updates on how projects are going along, breaking news that impacts the entire company, and most importantly, confirmation on who’s getting that strawberry shortcake for Stan’s birthday.
• Workchat: Much like Facebook’s private messaging, Workchat allows you to engage in private, one-to-one conversations with other people at the pallet-making business – or across your entire enterprise. Plus, you can also add other people by-invitation only while you’re exchanging all the images, video and other media that you can exchange in the more public Group’s format.
• Events: This is a feature on Facebook that has proven invaluable to announcing an upcoming event to all your friends. It also shows the world everyone who was invited to the event, and everyone who has RSVPed that they’re going. It’s a great tool on the Workplace version, too.
• Live: One of Facebook’s powerful new features, Live allows your pallet and lumber business to livestream video of any company event – such as a CEO’s speech to the company at large, or the insights of a visiting consultant.
It’s also simple to use: touch a few icons, and you’re broadcasting live to the computer devices throughout the company. And viewers are able to comment on the livestream in real-time. Search: Pretty much everything in Workplace by Facebook is searchable. Notifications: You’ll get notifications from Workplace by Facebook when anyone at your business replies to your post, creates an event, uploads a file or engages in most other forms of social network interactivity.
Not surprisingly, the inaugural version of Workplace by Facebook is relatively inexpensive. Monthly pricing is $3/user for up to 1,000 active users, $2/user for 1,001 – 10,000 active users and $1/ users for more than 10,001 active users. But before you lunge to create your own Workplace by Facebook community, you’ll want to look over its competitors. Each has slightly different ways of putting together a social network for business – slight differences that may be a big deal for you.
Other Business Social Media Platforms
• Slack (https://slack.com), (starts at $6.67/user/month): Already well-established in the social network for business marketplace, Slack is similar to Workplace by Facebook, in that it offers a searchable communications environment where you can post images, videos, messages and more.
Slack also integrates with dozens of third-party apps, including Google Drive, Dropbox, GitHub, MailChimp and Uber too. For a look at all the apps that integrate with Slack, check out: https://slack.com/apps.
“Slack offers unprecedented internal transparency to organizations of all sizes around the world,” says Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s CEO.
• Asana (https://asana.com/) ($8.33/user/month): Asana bills itself as a project management network first and foremost, and features task deadlines, dashboards, message prioritization, private groups and more. Third party apps that work with Asana include Google Drive, Slack, Hipchat and MailChimp.
• Jive (https://www.jivesoftware.com/) (starts at $5/ user/month): Billed as collaboration software, Jive features include a news stream for pallet-making businesses, along with executive blogs, overall analytics, community sentiment analytics, discussions, document collaboration, search, events, community managers and an employee directory. It also integrates with a number of third party apps, including Salesforce, Google, Dropbox, MS Sharepoint and Office 365.
• Microsoft Teams (https://tinyurl.com/zy3433n) (free with most versions of Office 365): Promised for delivery sometime this year, Teams’ primary draw for Microsoft users will most likely be its tight integration with other Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, Skype, SharePoint and OneNote. Teams is also promising a polling feature, which will enable users to seek feedback from a project team on a new idea, new direction or other query.
Still other business social network environments to evaluate include Basecamp (https://basecamp.com), Trello (https://trello.com/) and Wrike (https://try.wrike.com).