Social Media in the workplace
Advantages, disadvantages & best practices
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The rapid growth of social media presents a unique challenge for employers as well as employees. Without a pre-existing framework for determining what is proper for social media use in the workplace, companies have to rely on a trial-and-error approach to social media etiquette.
Therefore, it is best to know what are the possible advantages, disadvantages and best practices of social media in the workplace, thus avoiding any office communication mishaps that can vary between a simple misunderstanding and a career-ending problem.
The Social Media advantages can be summarized as follows:
- It facilitates open communication, leading to enhanced information discovery and delivery.
- It allows employees to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions and share links.
- It provides an opportunity to widen business contacts.
- It targets a wide audience, making it a useful and effective recruitment tool.
- It improves business reputation and client base with minimal use of advertising.
- It expands market research, implements marketing campaigns, delivers communications and directs interested people to specific web sites.
Whereas the Social Media disadvantages are:
- It opens up the possibility for hackers to commit fraud and launch spam and virus attacks.
- It increases the risk of people falling prey to online scams that seem genuine, resulting in data or identity theft.
- It may result in negative comments from employees about the company or potential legal consequences if employees use these sites to view objectionable, illicit or offensive material.
- It may result in lost productivity, especially if employees are busy updating profiles, etc.
Now, that we have discovered the main advantages and disadvantages of social media, why not discover some of its best practices allowing us not only to benefit from the social media in the office but also in our careers.
- Fully understanding the company’s policy concerning the social media, not only the written policy but also the stated and unspoken rules of conduct as well.
- Being extra careful when mixing personal and professional and avoid embarrassing someone and understanding the boundary between public and private spaces.
- Before writing anything to anyone, ask yourself if you would mind seeing this post on the newspaper pages. Never write anything that might embarrass you or the company you work for.
- Contribute positively to a conversation by posting interesting things and asking useful questions.
- Respect privacy, never reveal any information that someone shared with you in another channel unless it was posted on a public space. If you would like to share something make sure that the original author has approved.
- Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Never write something out of anger, spite or personal vendetta, and never overstep your boundaries.
THE BUSINESS LOBBY TEAM