Small businesses in general tend to deter against employees using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter during the company’s time in order to keep the office as productive as possible. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and mySpace to name a few of the most popular social networking destinations on the web are often banned by the business, to an extremes even added to a black list within the Internet gateway.
Why can’t social networking sites like Facebook be used for positive purposes?
Trends in Internet, communication and technology have led us to where we stand today; we have a medium capable of connecting us to the furthest corners of the globe at lightning speed. Yet consider that many small businesses are both fighting against the trend of social networking technology, and embracing it at the same time to represent their brand – it is difficult to see the positive use where an employee is concerned. Social networking is flourishing with possibilities which could revolutionise the way in which the business operates and introduce a whole new way of doing business, externally and internally.
Is it possible to utilise social media habits to a business’s advantage?
Currently, I don’t think the infrastructure is in place with sites like Facebook and Twitter, they were not really built for a business to communicate within such a closed environment, but they are getting better and I hope someday soon that they will provide all that is needed for this operation.
Interestingly I was investigating a social networking service called Yammer recently which can be utilised for your business as a social networking platform.
Some of the features I liked best about Yammer
It has most of the benefits of Facebook and twitter as well as multiple reciprocates, much like carbon copy on an email and ensures that everyone is kept in the loop. This method is great for letting the entire organisation know of any changes, new clients and other general messages.
Yammer allows response in the form of feedback and brainstorming and collaboration which is something which just isn’t possible over the mainstream social networking sites.
Social media gives every member a profile which puts a face to a name, consider that you might never meet another member of the team as they work in a different part of the country, this provides a more personal way of interaction with those you may never meet. Much like other social media sites, you are able to share videos, images and statuses.
And all of this without having to use your personal Facebook or Twitter handles, allowing employees to interact with their fellow co-workers without the distraction within other social media sites.
Yammer stores the company information each employee enters, it can be useful as a means of contacting others in different departments.
All in all, this platform has great potential for use internally within growing businesses and in fact companies such as eBay have implemented into their internal communications, so it can’t be that bad can it?