A lot of entrepreneurs are still not sold on the idea that social media can be beneficial in the workplace. Many harbor the mistaken assumption that social sites like Facebook are distractions that curtail productivity. Some businesses even go as far as banning social sites in their offices. However, there’s growing evidence that encouraging workers to be more active in social media can actually help them to accomplish more tasks.
An academic study conducted by Joe Nandhakumar of the Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom came to the conclusion that social media is a productivity-booster, not a productivity-killer. For two years, Nandhakumar and his research team recorded and studied the social media policies of a large European telecommunications company. Said company encouraged its employees to be more active on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Skype. The team found out that the policy significantly increased office productivity and improved customer interaction.
1) It’s a great marketing tool. As an entrepreneur, it’s advisable to encourage your employees to use social media. However, you need to create boundaries. You have to write a policy which states that social sites can only be used within the bounds of the business. The sites should only be used for customer interaction, office communications, and product/service promotion. Encouraging your employees to talk about your products and services on social media is referred to as social selling. It’s a very effective branding and marketing technique.
2) It promotes collaboration among your employees. When workers learn to accomplish tasks and projects as a team, their productivity rates will go up. It’s also a lot easier for employees to communicate using social sites. Sending someone a quick message on Facebook is easier compared to writing an email. This ability to instantly share information with workmates inspires collaboration.
3) It improves customer service. Most of your customers are probably active on social sites. If they have questions, complaints, or comments about your products and services, they are more likely to engage you on social media than on traditional customer service portals like email and phones. If your employees are active on social sites, they will do a better job of answering questions by customers.
4) It provides light relief. Social media can be a source of relief for your employees who are in need of a break. Even if the interactions are still work-related, they can help employees in dealing with stress.
In a nutshell, it’s time to rethink the role of social media in the workplace. Instead of restricting your employees in using Facebook, you need to consider encouraging them. As an entrepreneur, it’s time to learn how to engage employees through their social accounts. Social media is growing at a very rapid pace and you should take advantage of it. Use it as a tool to promote collaboration among your employees, to improve your customer service, and to provide a source of relief for your stressed-out workers.