Social media is present in day-to-day living. It can be a diary to chronicle the day’s events in pictures or words, a source of news about a friend or family member, or a summary of unknown people’s lives. After all, an average person has at least seven social media accounts, according to Hootsuite.
For businesses, the existence of social media is welcomed yet feared. They use social media platforms to build presence and reputation that will ultimately lead to sales and revenues. On the other hand, they fear that employees are spending way too much time on Facebook or Instagram while on the clock and gobbling up the office bandwidth.
The use of social media in the workplace is a modern-day dilemma that requires concrete solutions. Essentially, you need to create and enforce an effective yet dynamic set of rules concerning social media at work. Here are the key points.
1) Define the Terms
How does your organization define social media, social media sites, and other related terms, like social networking? What is the scope of the policies (i.e., are they applicable to corporate and personal social media accounts)? What is the relationship between productivity and social media use in the office?
These and more questions, as outlined by SHRM.org, will help you formulate clear-cut guidelines on the expected behavior on social media and possible sanctions. It’s critical to draw the line now than wait, to avoid disputes that can turn into ugly legal battles.
2) Train Your People
An employee may have posted something on her personal account but revealed company or client information that should have remained private. Corporate accounts are also no exception because an innocent tweet can rub users the wrong way.
To avoid these fails or get #canceled in the context of call-out culture, practice these:
- Think before liking or posting anything. Check the link and where it goes or the kind of image that gets uploaded with the post.
- Add a disclaimer on personal accounts that their opinions don’t reflect those of their company or the management.
- Take extra care not to mix personal and corporate social media accounts. Use tools that manage business profiles to steer clear of this mishap.
- Own up to mistakes committed and taking down such posts.
- Stick to the company’s brand and online persona when posting on corporate accounts.
Social media managers and community managers should work together to ensure that the phrasing and content of every post and response to the community reflect the company’s branding and online persona.
3) Enlist Employees’ Help on Social Media Campaigns
Organic traffic remains the best way to accurately measure engagement across your various social media accounts. However, it takes time and zinger to capture hundreds or thousands of likes and shares.
Get your employees on board with posts introducing new products, promotions, or services. Instead of forcing them, which is not organic, you can structure their rewards through referrals or affiliate programs. The ultimate goal is to bring attention to the posts and spread the news far and wide.
4) Make the Rules about Online Rants
Everyone in the organization is expected to be at their best professional behavior. Some, however, take their complaints about work to social media and during office hours at that. While it’s the poster who looks bad for ranting, it doesn’t look good for the employer either.
This scenario may be prevented when your social media policy and employment contract set out the conduct expected of new hires and current employees. The consequences of ranting in public and badmouthing should be outlined and explicitly stated in the contract.
5) Instill Mindfulness, and Install Useful Devices
Staying connected is admirable, but indulging in it using the office network is not ideal. It’s especially true if one streams videos on YouTube or plays those clips on the newsfeed.
Tell your folks in the office about these, and read to them that this bit from Android Central:
- A low-quality video can consume 300 megabytes per hour; SD quality at 700 megabytes per hour, HD quality at 0.9 gigabytes to 3 gigabytes, depending on the video resolutions; and UHD about 7.2 gigabytes per hour.
Unlike videoconferencing and VoIP, social media usage is often overlooked when considerating the best internet speed for the office. However, you can remedy the situation by adding a switch in the network configuration. The functions of a network switch include adding ports so more computers can connect to the LAN and increasing its bandwidth.
People are social creatures, thus the popularity of social media. Still, let them know the boundaries when it comes to using such sites where the internet and everyone’s productivity can take a hit.