Editor's note: Calvin Sitto is a student at Wayne State's School of Business in Detroit, MI and has taken ISM 7505: Inbound Information Technology.
Social media use can provide the organization with many challenges and opportunities. Detailing these challenges and opportunities ensures the organization is developing its social media policy with insights.
The organization may find that social media tools presents many challenges. Listed here are four challenges I have identified.
- Social Media Use: Employees who continually monitor social media in the workplace and during the course of a work day may not be focused as much as they should be. This risk could potentially effect their productivity as well as the work in which they are performing. Social media policy within an organization should either prohibit employees from engaging in social media during the workday unless it is for the benefit of the organization. Another solution for this problem could be to purchase software that monitors and allocates a certain amount of time per day that an employee can be on social media on their computer.
- Hiring: Many organization incorporate social media sites into their hiring process that can lead to discrepancies in the hiring process. Candidates can argue towards discrimination and a protected status when the organization is making the hiring decision. The best solution for this is to not incorporate social media into the hiring process. However, a possible solution can be to practice the use of social media sites after the candidate has been interviewed if you are potentially interested in hiring this individual.
- Online Attacks: Social media has the potential to be used as a forum for employees to launch online attacks against an organization, which can create a disastrous situation. It is important that the organization take discipline for such actions seriously and with the utmost importance.
- Disseminating Confidential Information: The use of social media can potentially create a risk of disseminating confidential information such as customer information, policies and procedures, and confidential product information that are vital to the organization. These could potentially violate notice, disclosure, or reporting requirements.
How to Protect Your Organization From Social Media Challenges
- Create a Social Media Policy: It is important that your organization implement a heavy and detailed social media policy. Your policy should clearly state that there is no expectation of privacy for employees. Be firm in your wording in the policy and explain the repercussion of exposing confidential information and that you have the right to monitor or review things written online or create on company equipment without the permission of the employee.
- Be Specific: In your social media policy incorporate the policies regarding discrimination, violence, harassment, and so forth that apply to social media as well.
- Identify Yourself: Include in your policy that employees who are engaged in personal social networking should identify themselves and ensure that their social information and posts are personal views and are not conflicting with the organization’s interests.
- Education: Although policy is important it is also important to educate your employees about the consequences of not adhering to the social media policies and procedures of your organization. A potential way of doing this is to incorporate an online or in-class social media policy course that ensure individuals understand the organization’s policy regarding this information and allow them to ask questions that they fully understand the social media policy of the company.
The organization may find that social media tools presents many challenges. Listed are four opportunities.
- Promote Your Brand: Sales and marketing professions are continuously using social media to introduce and promote new products and services that increase their potential target market. They allow them to reach consumers and users in a more efficient and quicker way and allow individuals to follow those products and services which in turn create a personal connection between the product and the individual and your organization.
- Engage Customers: Social media allows your organization to listen to the customer’s wants, needs, and demands in order for your organization to satisfy the customer and continue to create and growing and healthy relationship that will last.
- Recruiting: It also has the potential to improve recruiting techniques because it allows you to post information about recruiting opportunities, different events for people to attend, as well as posting job interviews and how to apply for positions so that you are able to reach out to a wide range of potential candidates.
- Share Information: It allows you to share information about your company to customers as well as potential employees who use social media to research companies that they have an interest in understanding and knowing more about whether for hiring purposes or for your products and services that they may be interested in. Social media sites are a great avenue to reach out to people and provide them with information about your organization. The interesting thing about social media that makes it so great for sharing this information is that you are doing it in small increments. Social media is typically proven more powerful when done in small increments. For example, a tweet from an organization is usually short and sweet and to the point, which is what customers are looking for and it, keeps people engaged and interested and wanting more. So by your organization sharing information in small increments it keeps individuals and potential customers wanting to know more and can thus lead to them researching more information about your organization and your products and services.
All in all social media has the potential to influence and change your organization for the better or for the worse depending upon how your organization acts in accordance with social media policy. By implementing a strong social media policy it ensures that those pitfalls discussed in this blog appear at a minimum within your organization and it ensure individuals understand the repercussion of acting against the social media policy of your organization. If this is done correctly then the opportunities stated in this blog are what lies ahead for the social media of your organization. Do not forget though that social media isn’t always the direct avenue for these opportunities and although it is important to focus on this do not lose sight of your other avenues and marketing techniques because an individual can lose track of other things by focusing on just social media.