As many companies try to find a happy balance between worker production and worker happiness, more businesses are taking a second look at allowing social media access in the workplace, especially as it relates to marketing their products.
In 2009, a survey for Robert Half Technology noted that more than half of the chief information officers questioned responded that they prohibited employees from using social media during work hours.
According to a new survey, however, 51 percent of the more than 1,400 CIO’s surveyed indicated they allow employees to utilize social media venues like Facebook and Twitter while on the clock as long as it is work-related. That figure was a nearly 20 percent increase from the 2009 survey.
Digging a little deeper into the research, the numbers show that 31 percent of businesses still ban such sites in the office, four percent allow it for personal use while on the job and 10 percent have no ban in place.
John Reed, executive director for Robert Half Technology, noted “Companies recognize the value of using social media for brand building, whether it’s marketing a product, offering customer service, gathering information, or simply listening to what fans and followers have to say.” According to Reed, companies hold the line on workers’ personal usage of social media, adding employees know what is permissible and what is not.
Robert Half Technology provided several tips for both employers and employees when using social media on the job:
- Be sure everyone is clear regarding what form of social networking is allowed within the company;
- Make sure sensitive or confidential company details or negative comments regarding the workplace, present or potential clients and/or customers are posted;
- When available, use social media sites on the job to contact customers and clients. Also follow worthwhile leaders in your respective field and/or compile industry news;
- When using social media on behalf of your business, protect the feeds through secure passwords, avoid using questionable links, and limit access to necessary employees.
So what has led to a change in thinking among some CIO’s nationwide?
Despite some recent scandals that have played out on Twitter involving politicians, and despite some cases on other sites such as Facebook that show just how damaging leaving unwise comments can be, more and more employers are seeing how beneficial social media can be when used properly.
If you have a brand or service you want the world to know about, it can be tweeted or shared with countless individuals in just moments. Now, can you think of a quicker way to spread the news via word of mouth?
In the event your business is social media, what are the rules of engagement for employees? Would it not be somewhat hypocritical to prohibit status updates or tweets used within reason from your employees?
If your employees are helping to market your brand and services, it is a win-win for all involved.
As social media continues to explode on the Internet, employers and employees who use it wisely definitely have something to share or tweet about with all those who will listen.
Image Credit: Computerworlduk.com