In the era of social media era, public social media tools/platforms such as QQ and WeChat have become more frequently used to discuss business issues as an alternative to emails. However, there are lots of potential negative impacts of this practice, such as business confidentiality, loss of privacy and blurred line between work and life. Many Chinese companies have noticed this issue and tried to use professional enterprise social networking services as their responses. The rise of social networking services is evident in China.
Kantar Media CIC has been releasing annual China social media landscape reports since 2008. We have included enterprise social networking services into the reports since 2012.
The State of Chinese Social Media 2016
Note: Kantar Media CIC’s definition of business social media platform includes enterprise social networking services (such as Dingtalk 钉钉, Mingdao 明道, Yammer) and public social networking platforms for business professionals (such as LinkedIn).
Enterprise social networking service is by nature a new type of collaborated office automation service, which implements sophisticated social networking technology in day-to-day business operations. It enables employees to collaborate and manage projects just as they are using a social network app to achieve better efficiency, transparency, visibility and communications. It is a typical application of SaaS (software-as-a-service).
The earliest platforms in China in this category include Mindao (明道) and Joywok (乐工), etc. The similar global brand in this category is Yammer of Microsoft.
Currently, there are many competing brands under this category which serves mostly small and medium-sized companies, such as Tencent’s Weixin for Work (企业微信), Alibaba’s Dingtalk (钉钉), Mingdao (明道), Teambition, Jingoal (今目标), Fxiaoke (纷享销客), Worktile, eTeams, tita, Tower, Gleasy, iWork.
These enterprise social networking services have different emphasis in their offerings, such as Dingtalk is strong in Instant Messaging; Mingdao’s target is better project collaboration; Weixin for Work focuses on mobile social. So far, Dingtalk and Mingdao are two leaders of this sector.
Kantar Media CIC’s monitoring has found that many enterprise social networking service users have both positive and negative comments on Dingtalk and Mingdao.
On the positive side, Dingtalk were praised for its mobile friendly features, while Mingdao’s wide range of functions was especially appreciated.
On the negative side, Dingtalk was criticized for (again) bringing too frequent work-related messages into personal life. Mingdao’s mobile service was considered as not as powerful as its desk-top version.
Positive comment samples
Negative comment samples:
We can see that the two biggest pain points of enterprise social networking users are the balance between work and life as well as the balance between the level of mobile friendly and full functionality.
Kantar Media CIC sees the rise of enterprise social networking services as Chinese companies’ reflection on demands for better management and adopt to employees’ needs in the social media era. They adopted this service not just simply to improve project management capability, but to lift the overall efficiency of internal communications and social connections.
Before they make their final choices, the companies should understand the management style behind various enterprise social networking platforms, because some are based on top to bottom model while some are based on decentralized structure; fully confirm the priority of the company’s needs (such as office automation, project collaboration, social, mobility, etc.); and strike the balance between higher work efficiency and better protection of employees’ personal life.
Source: Kantar Media CIC