There is no denying that social media is a great tool for communication. We are now able to keep in touch with relatives all over the world, and catch up with long lost friends. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are great tools for self expression, but is social media bad for your job?
In 201 there was a much publicised case of a Chrysler employee who posted obscene tweets about people in Detroit’s ability to drive. After the message appeared on the company Twitter feed, he lost his job. Employees of British Airways and Marks & Spencer have also faced disciplinary action after slating customers on the Internet.
Today, businesses across all industry sectors have created social media platforms in order to network, communicate and build brand awareness. But in the wake of the news that Sky News journalists have received strict guidelines on what can, and can’t be posted, is social media really a good idea for business?
Are we Addicted to Social Media?
The University of Chicago has recently claimed that adults’ addiction to reading emails and accessing social networking sites is stronger than cravings for cigarettes and alcohol. The study showed that adults are, apparently, lacking the will power to resist checking out the latest posts.
This surely has a negative effect on businesses. If your employees are spending more time catching up on their friends’ updates than they are working, you need to readdress the balance. While sharing content via social media can be extremely positive for business, it can also prove disastrous.
It is important to outline that social media access is purely limited to authorised breaks. That way you can ensure that work is being done. If you run a business social media platform, ensure that you have a specific strategy and the use of this is balanced with other roles.
Social Media for Employees – What You Should Do
As an employer, the challenge you face is minimising the risks and utilising the benefits of Facebook and Twitter for business. Sky News’ social media policy is nothing new, and is something many businesses could benefit from.
If the nature of your job involves you accessing sensitive information, it is important your employees are aware of exactly what has to remain private. Social media is a very personal outlet, and people should still feel like they can post personal information. It is about addressing the balance and making sure that everyone watches what they post.
The same goes for posting about colleagues and clients. As we have seen, posting such information is both bad PR and bad for business. Make sure your employees know the correct procedure should they be experiencing any issues at work. Venting on social media can land you and your business in trouble.
There is no denying that social media is a great tool for both business and personal use. However, it is vital that everyone thinks before they post. This will protect not only themselves, but also your business. Social media is a great tool, when used appropriately.
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