Is it wise to ban the use of social networks during business hours?
If your company relies on the latest information and technology, probably not.
Approximately half of all businesses in the US are now blocking social media sites in the workplace or are otherwise banning the use of them during working hours. While this may make sense in some workplaces and for some employees, not all will come out on top of this argument.
Wherever networking will help business, not hurt it, an allowance should be made by the administration that makes the company rules. Since networking is done today through an active social media network system the employees where it is banned will miss out on some otherwise useful information and it could even backfire.
The Social Media Information Highway
Most businesses today rely on electronic media to advertise, network, and reach customers and other resources useful to their objectives. Why cut off the very information highway that feeds the business?
According to recent polls, as many as 94% of today’s businesses use social media or other methods of electronic communication in some aspect of their daily operations. Especially in a business-oriented company, the employees are using their ability to communicate quickly and effortlessly with others who can assist them in getting their jobs done. Young employees have even been raised in the electronic communications world and may feel shackled and as though they are trying to perform their jobs with one hand tied behind their backs.
What's Next? Take Away Your Smartphones?
Since most tech savvy employees today own PDA’s or smartphones, they have the ability to access any social media, video site, or other internet websites at any time and just about anywhere. It’s not likely that employees would stay with a company that takes their phones away or requires that they do not take them out at all during working hours.
Again, there are definitely jobs that would make sense to ban these items while on duty or while their concentration is needed elsewhere for efficiency and practicality. These are not the jobs in question here. What is in question is professionals performing a function for a company and being made less efficient due to company rules that may be very outdated and ineffective.
Train, Don't Refrain!
The movers and shakers in a company are most likely the ones who have ready access to the most innovative technology and the latest available information on the market, whatever your market may be.
Training your employees on the use of social media may be the best way to compete with your competition. Having Social Media Savvy employees may just put you ahead of the competition in markets and niches that you may never have been able to get into through typical offline marketing.
Use the Power of the Many to Expand Your Brand!
Don’t put your employee's hands in their pockets and stop them from being on the Social Media highway, train them to ad-here to your company policies and follow the best practices for your company. This will ultimately expand your company's online presence and keep it at a professional level.
Use the power of your company's workforce to expand you company brand and allow your employees to be the best that they can be.
About the Author:
The SEO-Alien is a project started in 2009 regarding all things online marketing. The site started out more of a diary of predictions, suggestions and references to things I frequently used for online marketing... before social media marketing was even an option.
I hope you find the information and tools presented here useful and something worth sharing with others.
If there is anything else about online marketing or any online advertising strategy you think would be helpful, please let me know.