Since the turn of the century, there has been a widespread use of digital platforms in communication whether at home or in the office. These technologies have influenced the creation of a myriad of social communication platforms that we have come to embrace as the social media.
Research shows that by the end of 2014, the most attractive avenue of social interaction, Facebook, had amassed an impressive tally of 1.23 billion monthly active users (MAU). At around the same time, another successful social channel, Twitter, had managed to attract a monthly average of 285 million users.
These statistics point to a heavy lean towards social communication. Unfortunately, most corporate executives frown at the idea of employees using social media at work. However, a deeper look indicates that these avenues can be very useful in the office if creatively harnessed.
Here is a look at the benefits of social media in the workplace.
- Coordination in the Work Place
Some organizations have built internal social network services (SNS) for employees to help each other out when key issues relating to clients arise. Bankers especially have found this strategy very handy. For example, if you are a customer representative officer on the phone with an important client, you may not have all the banking information they require readily available.
To serve the customer better and faster, you can just share the idea with more experienced colleagues over an internal network service. These people help you by sharing answers in seconds. As a result, services improve and the clients become easier to handle.
- Platforms for Engagement
Employees of the same company do not necessarily share offices, office blocks, or even towns. Workers of the same firm can spread around offices that span cities, countries or even continents. As such, you may not always have the luxury of face-to-face meetings or the fancy option of communicating through telepresence facilities.
You can just build or subscribe to an existing social platform for the engagement of workers in terms of sharing ideas and charting the way forward. In many cases, these media help to generate healthy debates, which become blueprints for bettering relationships at the workplace.
When you understand your employees, you can work towards improving their productivity while keeping them motivated. The main reason social platforms are good at helping generate healthy debates is because employees do not feel restricted. This feeling of freedom allows them to share what is one their minds freely.
Studies indicate that 46% of modern employers use avenues of social media to scout for and recruit fresh blood and snap up young talent. This phenomenon rides on the fact that social platforms of communication are very popular among the members of the population.
People in social media share information through links and boards such that a large pool of talented interviewees is available for the employer to choose come the day of recruitment. Human resource executives dig through social communication platforms like LinkedIn to check out the professional profiles of would-be employees.
This action gives the company a good picture of the abilities of the future recruits even before they email résumés or set feet in the office for interviews.
- Social Platforms as Advertising Tools
Over 90% of individuals with internet access belong to two or more online based social outlets. Modern businesses can harness these outlets to send out marketing and product information to current and prospective customers. By building contacts with social media, the employees of the company can create contact links and reach out to a wider audience.
Some companies even choose to stir up controversy about their products, which internet users then pick up. Extensive sharing of advertising information could lead to a marketing message going viral in terms of text, images, audio or video clips.
One thing to keep in mind after reading this is article is this : while concerns abound over the use of social internet tools in the office, their benefits far outnumber the limitations. Businesses need a total paradigm shift in the way they view the use of social media around the workplace.
There are ways to regulate its use in such a way that employees only use avenues like Facebook and Twitter to further the cause of the organization. An implementation of a clear social media policy would go a long way in helping the organization reap its benefits.