If you are not familiar with the terms “social networking,” and “social media,” then you have likely been living under a rock for the past few years. What began as a social forum for individuals has rapidly evolved into valuable communication and productivity tools for companies.
USA Today reports that corporations are increasingly exploring and experimenting with social media to improve productivity. Estimates show that hundreds of companies worldwide use internal social networks to collaborate with their other offices. Last year only a fraction of companies used social media in this manner.
Social media can also be a powerful customer service tool. The New York Times reports that “Social media can be a powerful tool for listening to customers and building a reputation for responsive service,” says David Nour, of the Nour Group. “You get real-time feedback and can engage with customers quickly to answer questions or help them solve problems.''
As great as the benefits of social networking may be for companies, employers need to follow some basic guidelines to avoid the pitfalls that come along with the benefits. A simple rule of thumb to use is this: obey the same rules you would with any other communication channel. Obviously, confidential or proprietary information should never be disclosed publicly, which includes social media. If you would not tell everyone in the world in person what you are about to post, do not post that information.
Further, every employer needs to have a comprehensive social networking policy in place for their employees. Click here for more information regarding social networking policies.
Photo credit: Microsoft