How we do business is constantly developing and changing. With new technology comes new marketing tools to help make our work lives easier, freeing up time to spend on the day-to-day running of businesses. The latest tech development comes from Facebook.
Previously known as Facebook Work, the new Facebook Workplace is a service created to connect employees and teams within companies. It works as part social network, part messenger and part activity manager. Facebook have been testing it internally since 2015, then moved on to allow other large cooperation’s try it out such as Starbucks and Booking.com. The service officially launched in October 2016 and has since had several updates to increase functionality and user experience.
How does it work?
The set-up is simple, enter your business email and employee details. This creates your page, from here you can create groups so that if you have a group of 5 people working on a project, they can all talk about ideas, strategies, outstanding tasks within the group. If you have multiple projects on-going with a number of different employees involved you can keep track of what is happening within each group. These groups allow people to add photos, videos, and documents. Just like Facebook you can comment, like and react to posts. Planning company events is made easier by actually being able to set up meetings and events on Workplace then invite colleagues and post updates.
Workplace offers a chat function so that you can interact with other colleagues and discuss ideas, work and questions. Workchat allows you to message one-to-one and have multiple contacts with a conversation. You can share files and even make video calls with your team. Like Facebook, Workplace will send you notifications if there is relevant content for you to see. For example, if a colleague has posted within a group or tagged you in a post update you will get notified.
Facebook obviously knows that businesses need to be able to share files and larger forms of information quickly and efficiently, introducing file integration. Workplace allows you to integrate with your file systems including Box, Microsoft, Dropbox and Quip/Salesforce. This means that when you want to share a file in a Facebook group, instead of just a link, you’ll have a thumbnail to click and it will take you directly to the file for editing or commenting.
Is it right for your business?
To invest time in training and development for your employees you must know that the system will work for your company. A massive advantage point over its competitors, such as Slack, is that Workplace is structured in the same way as Facebook.
With an average of 1.23 billion people actively using social networking on a daily basis, this platform doesn’t really require employees to undertake training as the functionality mirrors Facebook. There is little room for confusion, whats more you can create a totally unique account using your work email for simplicity.
The system has been designed to be used by both large and small companies. It acts as a medium for managers to be able to keep an eye on what work is happening without having to micromanage teams. Projects can be talked about in isolation and there is a record of everything to avoid any confusion.
If the system is used properly it is a great way to cut down the number of meetings and emails that are sent internally. It allows a certain amount of informality between colleagues and opens up a platform where ideas can be shared and nurtured into effective campaigns. With the demands of marketing, we recognise that you can’t just work 9-5. You have to be able to communicate with colleagues outside of office hours in a more relaxed and friendly way.
How do you decide whether this is for your business or not? Try it out. Workplace is currently offering a 3-month free trial and moving forward you only pay per employee. Why not start out by testing between a small focus group of colleagues? Check how they use it and whether they remember to use it? If this results in success you could then add all of your staff to the system. For convenience, it can be used as both a desktop site and a mobile app so that no matter what your employee’s job title, everyone will have access to the system.
Don’t be afraid of change, move with it, explore new possibilities that this new technology allows. If you don’t, you run the risk of being left behind, although it must be said that Workplace isn’t for everyone.