Virtual handshake

Gather around the Campfire: Three social media tools for the modern business

Virtual handshake

In today’s busy world you can’t always meet face-to-face. Here are three social media tools that are allowing businesses to collaborate across the board in a virtual setting.

Yammer: This enterprising social network features a similar usability to Facebook and Twitter but with applications that were designed with business in mind.

Campfire: Instant messaging designed and optimized for groups to collaborate in real-time anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

Convofy: A private social network that allows businesses to share knowledge and content and communicate effectively.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s do some investigating.

The Yammer log-in pageLaunched in September 2008, Yammer functions a lot like Facebook. Employees can create a user profile, fill out their information, upload a profile picture, and search for coworkers. However, because it is an enterprising social network, Yammer users search for people based off expertise and influence.

Users can create groups and online workspaces where they can share announcements to keep coworkers updated and search for topics and popular content. Yammer allows people to create pages and display and edit goals, documents, notes and other files, with any changes made in real-time. There are also  options to switch between internal and external networks seamlessly or to integrate other web applications like SharePoint, Salesforce, Spigit, etc.

For employees on the go, this social network allows users to connect via mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads, Windows phones, Android phones and tablets, and BlackBerry phones. Users scan a QR code and begin using Yammer instantly. With mobile access, employees can navigate messages, share photos, send private messages, and switch between internal and external networks.

A QR code

An arrow            A cell phone using Yammer

Another helpful feature is the ability for administrators to monitor their business’s Yammer network with IT tools. They can set custom password and usage policies that are in-line with preexisting company policies. Adminstrators can also monitor keywords through Yammer and set firewall locations as well. These tools and more allow businesses to administer safely and effectively.

The Campfire logoCampfire is part of the web applications company, 37signals.

Campfire is similar to instant messaging, but designed and optimized exclusively for groups. Businesses can share text, files, images, and code in real-time, making the need for physical meetings obsolete. You can purchase different amounts of memory to store transcripts that might otherwise not be recorded. How clever!

A Campfire screen cap

This web-based group chat tool lets administrators set up password-protected chat rooms in just a few seconds. Inviting a client, colleague, or vendor to chat, collaborate, and make decisions will help make better use of time and prevent disorganized e-mails or time-wasting physical meetings.

There are different pricing plans to fit the size and the technological demands of any business. The plans involve things like differing levels of file storage and an amount of conference call minutes.

Campfire is perfect for businesses that are spread out in different geographic locations. They make it simple to upload files and images in real-time, in the chat window for the other chat participants to see and share thoughts and opinions on.

Campfire streamlines group communication, making it simple to discuss and share new ideas with business partners, clients, and ultimately help groups make decisions more efficiently. Especially since it is available for your iPhone!

Social media maven Chris Brogan endorses Campfire as an essential part of any business’s social media tool kit in his eBook Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online.

The Convofy logoConvofy is a downloadable private social network for businesses. “It helps your team share knowledge and content with each other and communicate effectively and in real-time over that content.” Convofy is all about sharing and having open discussions within your company that promotes engagement. But you need not worry, all of these exchanges happen in the privacy and security of your company’s own network.

So how is Convofy different from any other social network out there? Here are just three quick benefits of using this specific social network:

  • Microblogging & Status Updates – Employees are able to see team’s updates          in real-time and never miss out on what other employees are sharing. Team are able to comment on the posts and see all conversations in real-time.
  •  Unlimited Storage for Files & Images – Upload and share images or documents with coworkers without worrying about storage limits!
  •  Suggestions & Motivational Analytics – “The presence indicator size reveals,   how active your coworkers are; the more they contribute, the bigger the indicator next to their name will be. Each posts suggests who will be the most useful to talk to – the most relevant people to the post and to you. Your contacts and groups are also ordered based on their relevance to you.”

To see what others are saying about Convofy head on over to and check out Realtime Reactions. This page displays peoples thoughts and opinions on Convofy via their Twitter feeds.

If you would like to learn more about any of the social media tools covered in this post, or if you are interested in using them for your business, please pay a visit to their websites and check them out at:

Post by Erin McGuire and Molly Iles


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