Social Media in the workplace - does it really present opportunities?
Social media presents great opportunities for businesses of all sizes, those that adopt social media as a communication tool may find an enhancement on how they:
- Communicate with employees
- Find talent
- Promote their business and brand
- Discover more about what customers think of your business
Communicating with employees
Social media has created a step change in the way we communicate with employees - instead of talking at them, we can talk with them. Shifting from one-way to open communication can strengthen internal relations and help break the departmental and geographical boundaries within a company. In particular, here at SD Worx we have seen the operations teams sharing their latest NPS scores, congratulating each other on successes and spurring each other on to better results.
More recently we€ve had feedback from colleagues that @sdworxuki's Twitter feed is bringing them closer to our external events than ever before, and gives them a feel for what is happening even when they're not in attendance. Involvement leads to colleagues sharing the SD Worx stories to their own network and this, in turn, increases our reach and positively promotes our brand.
Promoting company brand
Venturing into social media, and helping employees to do so, increases the potential for further exposure. Back in Christmas 2014, SD Worx engaged colleagues in our #ElfieSelfie campaign and this saw our social reach increase by 30%. This was bettered only at the recent customer conference, where colleagues helped spread the word of the conference, increasing social reach by a staggering 1000%. Many companies including SD Worx support blogs, or other arenas for online content, that provide general views on topics that further promote their brand and position themselves as thought leaders.
Finding new talent
Online recruitment sites have virtually changed the recruitment process. Never before have candidates and employers been so easily accessible to each other. Don't forget that candidates will look at all your social profiles; and channels such as Twitter and Facebook can show a softer, more human side to a company than a corporate website can.
Discover more about what customers think of your business
Social networks are a great platform for people to share their options and thoughts, the surge in online review sites has only increased the uptake of this. Ensure that you use your social channels to listen to what people like, what bothers them, what questions they ask and encourage colleagues to do the same. Colleagues will feel empowered and it ensures that you€re responsive in your communications should customer have concerns or queries.
Will you take the plunge...?
Many companies are still daunted by the threat social media can pose, however if you€re not out there talking about yourself, others might be. Being socially active is the only way to see and control what people are saying.
It is important that your employees understand your social media strategy, the best way to ensure this is to develop a social media policy. By creating a policy, your employees are aware of the company's boundaries and expectations. It also helps employees draw a line between their private and professional lives and helps you to effectively manage performance. A social media policy also helps to protect your organisation against liability for the actions of your employees and ensures you comply with the law on discrimination and data protection.
In my experience, colleagues may be more daunted by social media than you, so be sure you support them fully through the roll-out process and you will create natural brand ambassadors.