There has been more and more talk lately about employee use of Social Networking sites during the workday. There are two sides to this coin – using social media tools (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) for real business related activity and using them strictly for personal interest.
The ‘Pro’s’ Social Networking sites can actually be effective marketing ‘tools’. LinkedIn is an excellent networking tool, especially for salespeople. And believe it or not, Twitter can be very useful in both obtaining and distributing business related information. Even Facebook has become a place to find information about a company. Employees should be looking to these sites for information that can help them do their jobs better. They should also be using them to spread positive information about their company and products. And why not? There are millions of people logging on to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook every month. What great exposure. But how and whenthey do it, and what they say is key.
The ‘Con’s’ Every company with employees who have access to the internet (which is just about every company in the world) is vulnerable to negative communication. Just look at what happened to United Airlines. An unhappy employee wrote a disparaging (but nonetheless entertaining) song about the company and posted it on You Tube. It quickly became an internet hit. And before United Airlines found out about it millions of people tuned in to see this ‘cute’ tune with a ‘not-so-cute’ message. The implementation of a company-wide Social Media Policy may have prevented this incident from happening.
Social Media Policy A common complaint heard in many offices today goes something like “That guy is on Facebook all the time” or “She spends more time on Twitter than she does on her work”. Every company needs to implement a Social Media Policy for internet use. This is extremely important. A good policy will cover when, and for how long, employees are permitted to use these sites, as well as what they can and can not say. A good rule of thumb is to allow 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon.
Monitor Companies also need to monitor the internet for any and all mentions about their organization. This should be done on a regular basis. There are companies who can do this for you (like us) on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
It’s a fact that Social Media is a popular business and personal tool that’s here to stay. Knowing how to properly deal with it in the workplace is what will make your company a more efficient and effective marketer in today’s world.