An annoying habit of some IMers is the propensity to give you a little bit of data without filling in all of the blanks. It can go a little bit something like this:
Janie80: Going to the bar tonight u wanna come?
Roboticous: Sure, when?
Janie80: Later. Gotta run C U 2 nite.
Janie80: Signed off
Annoying since you don’t know where or when. When the matter is personal this isn’t a big deal. Most of us could do without the expense and humiliation of drinking out.
If the matter is business it can be more of an issue. Missing an important meeting can be a career ender.
Many people think about IM’s for businesses in the context of established companies. Few people consider its value to start ups, and that is a shame. A full featured IM like Brosix can improve all stages of a start up.
Refining the idea
When you are still working on the where’s and how’s of your business being able to show partners or backers what you mean will be a big benefit. The white board can help you to share ideas visually and make real time modifications.
Writing the business plan
Business plans are all about codifying the details. By using the file share feature on your IM you can easily integrate data from multiple sources.
Setting things up
Whether it is sharing emails from you contractor or showing the backend progress on your site, co-browse can help you to show while you tell.
Keeping in touch/the first year
An IM program can help you to stay in touch with partners, customers and suppliers. Many businesses are made or broken by their responsiveness to customer needs and internal communications staying on top of it can be a major boost.
Many companies begin a social networking campaign without giving much thought to how they will support those efforts. One of the most effective ways to do this is with an IM. That may seem a bit out of place at first, but you have to consider the fact that if you do not provide a micro outlet for your members everything, even the things that you do not want to be seen, will be expressed on the macro scale.
Using an IM to compliment your social networking efforts allows you to:
* Provide a 1 on 1 service to the digital generation.
* Allow user/customers to air their grievances to the company privately and gain resolution if the issue is private, sensitive or embarrassing.
* Test a new idea on a small group of people, a digital focus group.
Consider the IM as a way to augment your social networking campaigns.