Social media in the workplace: To ban or not to ban?

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5. Any mistake is a permanent record that will damage your reputation forever

 

C’mon we all make mistakes, but if we own up to them and we improve because of them, aren’t mistakes a learning opportunity?

 

A few years ago Hugh Jackman tweeted that he was at the Sydney Opera Center when of course it is the Sydney Opera House. It was obvious that he wasn’t doing his own tweets (a massive no no) and rightly so he copped a hard time about it. Even so, he owned up to it and promised to tweet authentically. He had 5,000 followers at the time and now has over a million. The moral of the story is, don’t let fear of making mistake stop you getting started!

 

That said, yes, if you behave like a pork chop, then you should expect the consequences. You should never make defamatory, malicious or offensive comments online or offline, and there are very real legal and reputational repercussions for misbehaviour. Use your common sense! 

 

5. Clients won’t engage me if they see my social media profiles

 

I think the opposite is true. You won’t be hired if they can’t see your social media profiles since they’ll think you’ve got something to hide!

 

Rather than worrying about who’s going to see that photo of you at a fancy dress party, focus your social media efforts on showcasing your personality (on your Facebook page), thought leadership (on a blog), your skills (on YouTube), your following (on Twitter) and your networks (on LinkedIn).

 

Same goes if you’re looking for work. Employers know that CVs are exaggerations at best and often pure fiction, so they are increasingly turning to social networks to see what you’re really like.

 

6. There’s no ROI

 

Social media is a tool for communication, just like email, your mobile and meeting with people. When you communicate, people hopefully get to know, like and trust you.

The ROI comes from the relationships you form – as people become friends, fans, clients and referrers.

 

There’s a brilliant tweet that I saw this week:

“When customers call we answer, when customers email we reply and when customers tweet we ask what is the ROI.”


 

7. Social media is no good for B2B

 

I prefer to say that social media is all P2P – people to people. You can be wearing your “business hat” or your “consumer hat” but you’re always communicating with a person at the other end of a tweet, Facebook comment, LinkedIn request or blog article.

 

Since social media is about communicating, I believe it should be considered business critical for B2Bs and B2Cs!

 

One final note, journalists and reporters are very active on social media when they are researching stories. Follow the journalists who cover your industry, get to know them and you may well discover your company gets excellent press – which can obviously be very good for business.

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