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Enterprise social networks are fast becoming the preferred tool for inter-organizational communication and collaboration. It’s why so many leading organizations choose Aluminate for Enterprise for their corporate communities.

So, what are the advantages of using enterprise social networks versus email and other communication tools?

An enterprise social network (ESN) is not designed to compete with emails, video conferencing calls, or face-to-face meetings. Rather, it is a complementary platform that incorporates the best aspects of all of these, offering a cohesive approach to business communications.

But ESNs offer so much more than that, and you’ll discover these extra benefits in this guide. We examined what an enterprise social network is, how it works, and why your organization needs one.

What is an enterprise social network (ESN)?

An enterprise social network is a private social network open only to members of a particular corporate community. This typically includes the management and employees of an organization. But it can also serve a wider corporate community, including business partners, alumni, clients, collaborators, and external stakeholders.

Are ESNs social media platforms for businesses? 

In a way, ESNs are the social media platforms of the corporate world. Users can chat with colleagues, access learning materials, and get up-to-date with the latest company and industry news. However, there are three main differences.

  1. Unlike social media, enterprise social networking is limited to a select group of members, often within a company intranet.
  1. An ESN often includes a variety of collaboration tools and integrations that streamline daily task management and quarterly project management while promoting better teamwork.
  1. An enterprise social network can be customized to suit your needs. As the world’s most customizable online community platform, Aluminate for Enterprise is a good example of this.

How do ESNs work?

Enterprise social networks can operate via an organization’s internet or intranet connection. Users log in much like they would with their favorite external social networks. This ensures that only authorized users can access the network. It also safeguards sensitive company data.

what are the advantages of using enterprise social networks versus email

7 Advantages of using ESN over email

Using an ESN can prevent employees from spending company time visiting social media platforms. It keeps them focused on the company and connected to their colleagues. But what are the business advantages of using enterprise social networks versus email and similar online tools?

1. Enterprise social networking facilitates real-time collaboration

Effective collaboration is what drives innovation. Emails will always play a role in business communications, including collaborations with external parties and remote employees. So, what are the advantages of using enterprise social networks?

ESN groups are much better suited to collaboration with hybrid or remote work models. They allow varied interactions and foster a sense of connection despite distances. That’s why Aluminate’s Groups module is one of its most useful features.

It lets you create unlimited groups across your corporate community, to better cater to teams with specific personal interests and regional differences. They act as private communication channels and can have their own branding and imagery, member directories, discussion boards, and social media integrations. Gone are the days of endless back-and-forth email forwarding.

2. Information sharing is enhanced

Whether it’s an important communique from the leadership, a notice from the human resources division, or news about a manager’s retirement, ESNs enhance the sharing of knowledge. You can use yours as a knowledge base and even as a storage portal for company documents.

Aluminate makes resource and knowledge sharing simple. It acts as a central location for communications and a centralized knowledge repository of important information.

Document management is easy with the digital library of essential content, easily accessed from the platform’s digital dashboard. So you have fewer emails going back and forth, and faster sharing of knowledge.

3. Enterprise social networks strengthen company culture

What are the advantages of using enterprise social networks versus email for creating connections and building the company culture? Emails do little to promote company culture. Although you can try to incorporate aspects of the culture with images, video clips, etc, emails are simply not ideal for this task.

An ESN, on the other hand, does the job beautifully. Just like other social channels your employees are familiar with, it’s a place to share ideas, exchange valuable information, and stay connected. But this all takes place against a backdrop of the company’s unique workplace culture.

what are the advantages of using enterprise social networks versus email

4. ESNs offer mobile accessibility

If your business operates on a fully remote or hybrid work model, you’ll have unique challenges. Everyone must be able to communicate and collaborate, despite different locations.

The biggest challenge is how to give both fully remote and even partially remote employees a dose of company culture. This is where emails fail. They allow real-time messaging but do little to instill a sense of belonging and camaraderie in remote employees.

An ESN works on mobile devices too, offering all employees opportunities for social collaboration, posting comments on team projects, and even informal conversations. They have a sense of belonging that boosts employee morale, supports team collaboration, and increases employee productivity.

5. Other business tools are seamlessly integrated 

Business processes rely on various strategies, software, and online tools. Your teams are familiar with them and would be lost without them. Fortunately, you can still use them, by integrating them with your enterprise social network.

When you post task assignments, all project data is available, along with the tools needed to get the job done. This easy access to all the information and tools they need makes collaboration easier, without the need for lengthy email threads and switching from one type of software to the next.

6. ESNs facilitate connection with corporate connections

Your alumni are a wealth of information, offering experience in problem-solving that your less experienced employees need. They are also ideal candidates for mentoring your newer employees. Best of all, they can put you in touch with potential collaborators, investors, and business partners.

In today’s world, it’s not only what you know, but who you know. Yet the many benefits they bring to the table will never be realized if you don’t have the right tools for reaching out to them.

What are the advantages of using enterprise social networks versus email to connect with your alumni community and external stakeholders? Emails lack the personalized touch and added value that an ESN gives.

ESNs like Aluminate for Enterprise offer many features that will keep your corporate connections coming back for more, including mentor matching, a digital library of resources, a customizable feed of content, group chats, and member profiles.

what are the advantages of using enterprise social networks versus email

7. Talent acquisition from within your community is a breeze

Talent acquisition from within saves time and money. It’s essential when you need to find competent staff with specific skills. You may already have identified them from among your current and even your past staff.

Your ESN lets you stay up to date with your employee profiles, for simpler internal hiring. In this way, it becomes an effective talent management system.

Boomerang hiring is easier when you connect your ESN to your corporate alumni platform. Rather than send out generic, impersonal emails enquiring if they would be interested in an upcoming post, you can reach out to them via an interactive platform.

Cultivate your ideal enterprise social network with Aluminate for Enterprise

An enterprise social network offers knowledge-sharing, employee engagement, and centralized collaboration. You can use it like social media, encouraging team members to get involved with the company’s corporate culture. An ESN can even facilitate remote work and recruitment efforts.

With all these advantages, enterprise social network implementation should be a top priority for your business. Unlike email, it’s more than a communication tool; it’s an investment in the future growth of your organization.

Aluminate for Enterprise is the world’s most customizable enterprise social network tool. Complete with advanced features and a user-friendly interface, this software makes ESN setup simple and convenient.

Request a demo today.