It wasn’t long ago when organizations were blocking access to social media sites at the office. Few things were more taboo than employees tweeting or browsing their Facebook newsfeed while on the clock. Companies were even monitoring what employees posted on personal Facebook pages in their free time.
However, a lot has changed in the way that businesses approach employees’ social media use. More companies are beginning to embrace social media in the workplace. A recent study produced by the Business Center for Marketing Research at Dartmouth found nearly three-quarters of all Fortune 500 companies are now active on Twitter. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), 80 per cent of executives now believe their brands get more sales using social media.
But what about SMBs?
Do you encourage your employees to embrace social media? If not, you might want to start. The EIU report suggests companies that fully embrace social engagement are experiencing four times greater business impact than less engaged companies.
Empowering Employees to Become Brand Activists
SMB owners tend to be passionate about what they do – and they find a way to share this passion with their workforce. Assuming you are part of a company people enjoy working for, some of the most powerful advocates for your brand are your employees. By encouraging employees to share experiences on social networks and/or blog about what they do, you’re broadening your influential audience of colleagues, peers and potential clients both inside and outside the industry.
Not only does this allow you to leverage your employee reach to cultivate the company brand, but it inspires employees to build their individual brand at the same time. And this source of brand evangelism offers a cost-effective approach that a company would not otherwise be able to seize.
Boosting Employee Happiness and Productivity
People are working longer hours. A 2011 survey of U.S. and Canadian employers found nearly two-thirds were asking their employees to work longer hours after the recession – and the trend was expected to continue over the next three years. People are also taking less vacation time. One in three companies said their employees have been using less of their holiday. This demonstrates it is more important than ever for companies to find new ways to keep employees happy at work.
Not to mention, because technology is so intertwined in our everyday lives, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to separate work from their personal lives. And it’s becoming more common for staff to be expected to keep up with email or attend events during off-hours. So why not reciprocate? Allowing employees to connect on social media during the workday – even if only during lunch – may actually boost productivity and quality of work.
Happy employees make for a successful company. Your organization’s social media policy might have a greater impact than you think.