Welcome to the “CEO Series”. Here, we talk about how entrepreneurs learn to become great CEOs, as the greatest technology companies in history, most often than not, are led by people like them.
In the United States, we can say that the year 2004 divided two different generations. Almost every university student that entered their university after the year 2004 owned a Facebook account. During their university life, Facebook is a tool for them to communicate with classmates and club members, make new friends, or for alumni to keep in touch with the juniors after they’ve graduated. Facebook has become a part of the life for the young people who were born in this generation.
In Taiwan, Facebook took another five years to gain its popularity. In other words, the users are mainly formed by a group of young people who was born after 1990. Now, this group of Facebook users is entering the corporate world, and learning how to embrace the different culture of this group of people has become a new challenge for modern entrepreneurs and leaders.
In the year 2009 when Facebook started to get more attention; banning Facebook usage in the office was a hot issue in the corporate world. The reason behind this was the lack of productivity among workers when they have the access to use Facebook in the office. Currently, I believe that not many companies still ban Facebook because everyone owns a smartphone and this makes that policy pointless or even makes things worse.
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Of course, decrease in productivity happens when workers are using Facebook to have their personal chats. However, the productivity of workers can be increased if the company knows how to use the tool wisely for internal communication and external marketing or business development.
Convey the Concept
In the past, emails or meetings often worked as the channel to convey messages to all the staffs. These channels were too formal and they might not be favorable for some colleagues. In this new era, Facebook comes in as a channel that is more natural in a way to convey messages and generate valuable feedback for daily communication when the younger generation adds you on Facebook.
Wang Zheng Ming, the General Manager of Laurel Enterprise, shares his life experience on Facebook. Besides that, the Director of ASAP Lighting Shopping and Uitox group, Xie Zheng Feng uses Facebook as a channel to communicate with his colleagues by uploading photos that he has taken and inserting a description. Both of their posts generated over a hundred likes and comments for discussion. By observing these two company’s corporate culture, I believe that Facebook has brought benefits to both Mr. Wang and Mr. Xie.
Other than internal communication, Facebook is a good tool to build trust with customers. The most straightforward method is to add the customer as a friend. However, not everyone is willing to do so for the sake of privacy unless you are very close with them. Under this circumstance, Facebook has a useful feature called “Group” that allows users to add these people into a group to interact with them, gather opinions and share important information and news with them. Moreover, users are able to find out who exactly has not read the information with the “Group” feature.
Fandora is managing a group of illustrators by helping them to convert their designs into T-shirts or handphone cases, then sell them to consumers online. She added those important illustrators into a group since two years ago when she first started the business. This group serves several purposes, for example to communicate with customers effectively, share the functionality of the product, and gain feedback for the products, website and the business module. Throughout the two years, Fandora managed to liaise with more than 500 illustrators and worked with them. In my opinion, Facebook played a very important role for Fandora.
Relationship With Social Media
Lastly, Facebook played an important role in corporate marketing. In the past, press conferences or high tea gatherings are the channel to get in touch with the press and the media. These required efforts from the public relation department or the job is outsourced to other companies. In the Facebook era, Facebook has become the best approach to keep in touch with reporters in between activities and events.
Throughout the years, I’ve made nearly 60 friends who work in mass media industry. I share news about technology, property, finance and politics with them and at the same time, I listen to their different voices and point out my own opinions. I note them down for references when they share their job experience and how they handle media relationship.
Conclusion: Follow Your Heart When Making Friends
Of course, there are many other exposures that Facebook can provide to the management. But in short, Facebook is a good channel to expand your network and this is getting more important in the Facebook era.
This article is originally written by Jamie Lin, a well-published author based in Taiwan. The article is translated from Chinese by Loh Sin Yee and is reproduced here with permission. Images were added into the article for visual purposes.