How to choose the right social collaboration tool for your business processes

• Collaboration

Across organizations of all sizes, the need to stay connected and engaged with other stakeholders is critical to overall success.

Why?

That’s the only way you can align team members around goals, targets, plans, and agendas.

A social collaboration tool fills that need perfectly.

A social collaboration tool is simply an app that offers a team an avenue of staying in touch via a social interface. Much like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the social media apps we’ve grown to love, social collaboration tools leverage the same functionalities such as file sharing, news feeds and messaging to offer a cohesive collaboration experience across the entire organization.

But, of course, you can’t just pick up any social collaboration tool and expect to get the best experience out of it. There are certain key features you need to watch out for when choosing an ideal social collaboration tool for your team.

Best features of an ideal social collaboration tool

Choosing a social collaboration tool can only be a productive exercise if you know what features you need to have to manage your team’s work. Above all, a social collaboration tool should be simple enough to use without a steep learning curve, as well as truly social so members of your team can stay connected with it.

Here are the key features you should keep an eye out for when choosing a social collaboration tool.

Simplicity

Simplicity here doesn’t mean cutting down on features so that the social collaboration tool becomes good for nothing or does very little. Rather, simplicity in our context is about narrowing down a product’s features to the essentials so users can get their work done with no distraction.

An ideal social collaboration tool must be designed to keep everyone on the same page with minimal effort, perform basic functions intuitively i.e., it must do what it’s expected to, and have a simple functional design that offers the best possible user experience.

Given that your entire organization will be using this to communicate, share insights on projects, and generally, do a huge chunk of their work, the ideal social collaboration tool must be easy to get used to. Productivity might drop drastically if no one can figure out how exactly the new social collaboration tool is supposed to work.

Speed

In the golden age of fiber internet and <100ms digital interactions, you can’t afford to compromise on speed. Even if you do, your organization’s customers won’t accept any excuses for not getting the best goods and services you can offer.

As a result, an ideal social collaboration tool must be designed to accept whatever data is passed into it, process it instantly, and relay it to the parts of your intranet where it’s needed. The speed factor removes knowledge latency and makes it possible for your entire organization to reach consensus, reason together, and generally collaborate in real-time even if you’re working remotely.

Robust integration capabilities

You probably already use an extensive suite of tools for organizing different parts of your work, ranging from Google Docs to Gmail. You’ll also agree with us that moving data manually sucks.

That’s why we have tools like Zapier and Integromat that are designed to loop into your tools and bring data from where it’s at to where it needs to be so you can spend less time manually fishing for data.

Likewise, if you’re looking to get a social collaboration tool that simplifies the collaboration experience for your organization, it’s critical that you choose a tool that plays well with the other apps where your work is locked in.

That way, you can set up a few integrations that give you 100-percent visibility into the data you’re working with, your progress, and your outcomes, without having to jump through tabs every 15 seconds to cross-check values.

Robust integration capabilities mean that you can connect to your work no matter where it’s at and communicate with team members even when they’re working across various apps.

Security

A social collaboration tool is designed to serve as the nerve center of your organization’s communications where information ranging from product ideas to financial records are shared. As a result, it’s unthinkable what might happen if your social collaboration tool is compromised by bad actors and all that information is used for malevolent purposes.

Functionalities such as 2-factor Authentication and strong data encryption are a must-have if you’re hunting for a social collaboration workspace that’ll keep your organization’s data safe.

Tips for choosing the ideal social collaboration tool

It’s one thing to know what to expect from a social collaboration tool, and it’s another to keep an eye out for those functionalities. Here are key questions and tips you should keep at the top of your mind when choosing a social collaboration tool.

  • Who will be using this? Which members of the organization need this social collaboration tool? Everyone, or a particular group? Identifying who exactly in your organization needs the social collaboration tool you’re choosing makes it easier to choose a solution that’s designed around your needs.
  • How do you intend to use your social collaboration tool? The use you want to get out of your social collaboration tool will determine the functionalities it needs to have before you make your choice.
  • What are the reviews like for the options you’ve shortlisted? What are previous and current users saying about the social collaboration tools you’ve chosen to move ahead with, especially about the functionalities we need the most from it?
  • How much tech/IT input do you need to maintain it? Does it work out of the box? Or does it require tinkering to get it up to a level where it can do what you expect it to?
  • How much time does it take to get used to it? What does the learning curve look like?

Asking these critical questions helps you narrow requirements down to what exactly you need a social collaboration tool for, as well as the must-have functionalities a social collaboration tool needs to have before you move ahead with it.

With these questions answered, it’s easier for you to shortlist the social collaboration tools that are closer to your definition of perfect and then choose which to move ahead with.

Digital workplace – the perfect social collaboration tool

Now that you know what to expect from an ideal social collaboration tool and how to determine which will work best for you, which one would you choose?

You could spend weeks trying out the countless options out there. Or you could cut to the chase and see how Kissflow Digital Workplace simplifies social collaboration for businesses that want to focus more on doing.

Kissflow Digital Workplace offers all the features you need in a social collaboration tool, such as:

  • A simplified engagement experience with update feeds and notifications
  • Speedy, intuitive controls that work as you expect them to,
  • Robust security that keeps your internal data safe
  • 24/7 IT support from our world-class engineering team.

Altogether, Kissflow Digital Workplace simplifies the social collaboration experience so your team can focus more on getting your best work done vs. tinkering with 4+ apps.
Take Kissflow for a spin here.

Related Resources


6 Must-have features in Collaboration App | What is Collaboration? | Best Collaboration Software 2020 |