Using Social Media In The Workplace

Social Media in the workplace

For anyone reading this article, it is highly likely that you use social media in some form in your day to day life. Most people will engage in private social media such as using their own personal Facebook or Twitter accounts to keep track of current events or friends and family.

Usage of various sites is quite high, with research from the Pew Research Center in 2016 finding that 76% of Americans use Facebook daily. Others may use social media for work related uses such as those who work in marketing.

One of the advantages of social media is that it allows companies and businesses to become accessible in ways they never would have been 20 years ago. Companies can engage with their customers and encourage brand loyalty, offer giveaways and attempt to resolve issues for people quicker than ever.

Social Media For The Workplace

Many workplaces may ban employees from using personal social media during work time. As such, these sites may be blocked from access and only allowed through at certain points in the day such as lunch. This is to encourage employees to concentrate on their work and to not become distracted by social media.

It is important that every company creates a social media policy that will allow employees to be aware of what they are allowed to do and how they should behave. This is particularly important for anyone who is using social media in a work related way to help reduce the risk of any unfortunate problems or damage that could be caused.

ACAS has some great advice on how to produce a social media policy that will work for both employee and employer to protect both. It is also important to make sure that other policies are updated in line with social media, such as including cyber bullying in any bullying related policies.

Using Platforms in Work

There are social media platforms that are created purposefully for workspaces such as Yammer, Workplace by Facebook and so forth. These have been designed to be used internally by employees and are useful in promoting company messages and creating social cohesion by providing social media in a controlled environment.

These are often paid for and set up by an employer and employees may be actively encouraged to use these platforms. Groups could be set up for different departments or there may be a group or section created to allow employees to provide queries or perhaps a wish list of things they’d like to see implemented in the workplace.

The Dangers of Social Media

Social media can be seen as a great positive to many, it allows people to quickly communicate with each other and keep in touch over long distances. As discussed before, it can also allow companies to get involved with their customers in a friendlier manner than traditional customer service.

But there are downsides to using social media in the workplace. As many companies may have discovered in recent years, social media can be a two way street. While it can lead to positive interaction, there is also the possibility of receiving negative interactions and feelings.

Companies that are seen to do something wrong can find themselves at the wrath of their customers with hundreds of angry messages bombarding their social media accounts. As such, many companies will need to try and keep a fine balance with their social media.

It can also have negatives for their employees. Many people may think nothing of adding their manager or boss to their social media account, but this can have potential repercussions. Be careful of what is posted as you never know what they may take offense to. It may be your private account, but it could still affect your job.

Cyber bullying can also be rampant on social media and workplaces will need to ensure that they have a policy that is strong enough to cope with the realities of online. Make sure that employees are aware of their rights regarding social media and make everyone aware that bullying is not accepted online.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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