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Social media is here to stay – how can businesses use this to their advantage?

Posted by: on 21 March 2016 in Human Capital Management, Human Resources, Innovation & Technology

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Many businesses are now embracing employee social media programs and usage in the workplace. While it has become a powerful platform for many businesses, many are yet to take up the growing trend. For those who have not yet embraced the initiative with their employees now is the time to start, as businesses across the world are already seeing the benefits from social media in the workplace.

Social media & Human Resources 
The use of social media has seen many changes in workplace practice, but there is also considerable scepticism for many employers. Having access to social media during work hours can be a distraction, with fears of a loss of production and ultimately a loss of profits. There are also some associated risks to company brands if employees engage in inappropriate behaviour on social media. However there can be a way for employees to enjoy social media usage at work and employers to gain benefits from it at the same time given there is a correct social media policy in place. Peter Williams, Chief Edge Officer at, Centre for the Edge who is speaking at the 2014 AHRI convention, works to identify and explore emerging opportunities related to big shifts such as social media that aren’t yet a priority for businesses.

We know the negatives, but do we know the positives? 
Businesses can gain a lot of benefits through the use of a social media strategy. It can be extremely cost effective for networking and marketing your company, by using existing employees to engage in business social media and using social media sites that do not charge a signup fee. It is a tool that can also be measured.

From the amount of visits on a Facebook page, to how many clicks/ retweets, these are all inexpensive yet effective ways to track online attention.

So how can businesses use social media management to their advantage? It’s all about employees. 
Most individuals have a presence on at least one social media platform, with Facebook being the most popular. Embracing an existing network within your business would be an easier place to start as employees already have a foundation of knowledge. This can be a useful advantage in creating the most effective social media presence. Emerging corporate social media tools such as Yammer have been created specifically for businesses in relation to social engagement in the workplace. These tools are becoming increasingly popular and an effective method for communication and education of a social media platform.

Have a social media policy in place 
Ford, Sony, BP, Samsung, Toyota, Zappos and Starbucks are just some of the global companies who incorporate strong social media practice into their business. Zappos has a positive approach to employee social media usage; CEO Tony Hsieh encourages his employees to spend time on Twitter to the extent that he offers classes in mastering techniques surrounding the micro-blogging platform. So how do they manage the risk associated with potential incorrect use by employees? Thats when businesses create a social media policy.

The policy should be specific to a companys needs and strategic direction; it is designed to protect both employees and businesses. There are also several online tips to correctly creating a policy. Human resources are usually at the forefront of the creation of the policy; therefore it becomes important that HR personnel are a part of the introduction process and are educated in the benefits and risks associated with social media.

Big shifts can be excellent opportunities, and provide many advantages. But bear in mind that a realistic, well planned social media policy is essential. A necessary component is to implement this correctly not only for legal compliance but also to protect your employees, and ensure business stability.

Written by: The Connect@ADP Team

Originally published August 28th 2014


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TAGS: Digital innovation Social Media

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