When searching for a social networking platform to use for Ford Motor Company’s internal communications, our team has gone through several analyses of each potential platform. The top five choices were Facebook, Linkedin, Gotomeeting, Google+, and Skype. All of these programs were rated on the scale of 1 to 4 in six categories: compatibility and speed, accuracy of content, cost, design, navigation, security, and usability. Upon finishing the assessment, Skype, Facebook, and GoToMeeting were tied at the score of 25.
Each of them offers unique strengths. Nonetheless, after much study, the one program that should work best with Ford Motor Company is Facebook. Although many people have a concern that one should not mix business with pleasure, the mixing in this case is actually a good thing. First of all, the majority of our employees already has a Facebook account and uses it persistently. This simply means accessibility is not an issue. The employees do not have to go through all the hassles of installing a new program on to their PCs or mobile devices.
They would also do not have to learn how to use the new program from scratch, as they probably are already familiar with its functions. Some of the employees may even have the program on the go, such as on their cell phone or tablet. Hence, it would be more likely that the employees will also check work-related updates when they connect to the program for personal uses. Secondly, using Facebook is free of charge. Ford does not have to pay for subscription, which could add up easily.
Many other platforms charge fees for using some or all their services. For example, Google+ business apps users have to pay a base fee of $50 annually and additional fees for additional account license. The third benefit, probably the most useful advantage of using Facebook, is the ease of connecting the employees to the end customers. Using Facebook allows employees to swap back and forth from the personal page to the corporate page. For instance, our employees would immediately see what comments our customers have left on our corporate’s “wall”.
It is easier to track; every employee will have an access to the comments directly. On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks of using Facebook. First, Facebook does not offer videoconference feature. This means, our employees from different offices across the world are unable to virtually join the meeting. However, this is not a big problem. Since these meetings are not frequent, the employees can set up a separate system for everyone to join the meeting as needed. The next concern is the privacy of the information.
As mentioned above, Facebook users have access to both personal and corporate accounts. Some employees may unintentionally spread confidential information without an intention to do so. Since there is no security feature to block certain activities or prevent employees from downloading certain files, the company has to risk the chance of the information leaks. Nevertheless, a way Ford Motor Company can prevent this from happening, is to demand our employees to only upload confidential documents via Ford’s Intranet system.
By doing so will help the company reduces the risk; the employees will only use Facebook for discussion, presentation, and social networking only. In conclusion, Facebook can offer social networking for free, and it can incorporate pleasure networking seamlessly with business networking. The disadvantages are minimal in comparison to its advantages. As a result, Ford Motor Company should use this platform to connect the employees from all over the world as if they were meeting and discussing work face-to-face.