Companies will have to start making decisions on social media for business sooner rather than later. Social media is on and it’s not going away on the digital tools we used (i.e. smartphones, laptops, and tablets). The question employers need to ask themselves is, “What Social Media mindsets do we incorporate company-wide to help our business needs vs. getting in the way of them?”
Social media is usually seen as a time-suck for business owners. But the trick is to show employees how to use social technology for business goals rather than just casual use. In a previous article, my colleague Stephanie Faris discusses the stats on social media use in the workplace.
One of the things I tackle in my consulting is to create a digital environment for companies where constant goals and business needs are met. In order for businesses to get anywhere with social technology, we need to stop looking at it as a liability. This requires business leaders to make the decision and bring in consultants who will train employees department wide on how to use digital tools for business projects.
The debate of whether to block social technology like Facebook or not in the workplace shows us how far we are from the mindsets we need to succeed. If Facebook is looked at as a casual social tool, then employers naturally want to block its use. But who is to say workers won’t pull out their smartphone that is giving them Facebook messages? On the other hand, if Facebook is looked at as a business tool, then blocking it is out of the question. With the right training, Facebook can very easily become a business tool that cuts out the time suck while meeting business goals. Social platforms do add another dimension to the work experience where employees don’t feel labored but have more fun as well. As long as these social technologies are used for business purposes, why should companies ever worry?
The right social media mindsets will only begin when business leaders have the courage to educate themselves on what social technology can do for their businesses. The proper route to find consultants who will specify a strategy for their business needs. When it comes to such important business decisions, a leader cannot rely on DIY. Considering consulting versus DIY research can save a company a lot of time and money. Getting social media out of the way while incorporating it into a company’s business operations has more healthy and sound ROI for both employees and employers.