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Using SharePoint For a Social Media Test Drive

Social media platforms have become second nature throughout today’s work force and beyond. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all become some of the go-to collaboration tools within many businesses. In fact, a recent CareerBuilder study found that 35 percent of companies have been using social media to promote their company in some way.

However, as many have been eager to adopt such tools, it might be difficult to find a way to add all these new sites into your daily routine, and it might not even hit your target audience or your real-world connections.

Microsoft SharePoint is letting industries and organizations take a social media test drive of sorts without having to be fully committed to the latest social media fad. It’s like a spin in that Porsche you always wanted try. Interested in learning some of these benefits? Check out the below top 5 ways to bring social media into your business using SharePoint.

1: Customizable Social Ecosystem

SharePoint allows you to create your own social community that includes selected employees or all employees, or your outside networks including vendors, channel partners, or customers. It’s up to you. With advanced permission features you decide who gets access to work sites or even documents. You can even specify read or write access all the way down to the individual user. The IT administrator has never had this much control over an external social network.

2: Share and Collaborate Instantly

Posting pictures of that team building exercise or getting feedback on a draft of a proposal you’re working on are easy with SharePoint. With the click of a couple buttons, upload a single file or multiple files at the same time. Upload, share, and download anything from office documents to pictures. You can even receive email alerts instantly when comments are added by your teammates.

3: Every employee is a potential blogger

Want to create an internal blog to keep employees informed about upcoming benefit announcements, sales promotions or other internal announcements? Blog about it. With SharePoint, you can create a blog and decide which teams or employees have access to view it. Stay organized with categories, follow with RSS Feeds, and interact with user comments. SharePoint does everything that other blog editors can do and even allows you to directly create blog posts from Microsoft Word.

4: Write your own Wiki

Do your policies and procedures struggle to keep up with your actual business processes? Use a custom wiki to keep things up-to-date by letting the subject matter experts in your business continually refine the best practices for accomplishing a particular task. With a single click you have the opportunity to create a new wiki that can include tables, pictures, and links to other wiki pages. Imagine the extensive instruction guide or encyclopedia of knowledge that you can create with SharePoint wiki.

5: Meet and Talk!

SharePoint gives you the flexibility to organize contacts for the entire company or by departments or projects. You can even create custom discussion boards and deploy simple surveys. SharePoint is flexible enough to adapt to the needs of your team and your business.

At Rackspace we maintain SharePoint environments for thousands of customers. By hosting SharePoint with Rackspace, companies are able to get all the SharePoint benefits without the hassle of managing and maintaining servers in one cost effective approach. And anyone with a Rackspace Email account can test drive Microsoft SharePoint with 250MB of storage for free. Most importantly, all of this is backed by our Fanatical Support.

Want to learn more about SharePoint and its use cases? Check out our Virtual SharePoint Summit taking place on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. CT. More information can be found here: http://www.rackspace.com/apps/sharepoint_summit/.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Tom DuScheid.

Tom DuScheid has been product manager for Rackspace Archiving since 2010. During that time he and Sonian have added 100,000 users. Tom has been a Racker since 2008; serving as product manager for Hosted SharePoint and SendGrid. He is a 2009 graduate of Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.


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