Worried about social media activity draining productivity at work? You're not alone. However, a growing number of managers are recognizing that this daily virtual connection is now central, not only to their employees, but to their customers.
In a recent poll, 74 percent said that they use their personal social media pages to promote their business, workplace or career. As the door swings open for employees to access "non-essential" websites at work, companies face a new challenge: how do you create a social media policy that will both enhance your employees' productivity and move the mission of your organization forward?
Social Media Strategy?
Does your business need a social media strategy?
Before establishing an internal policy, determine first how your business can benefit from it:
- Do your primary customers have a presence in social media?
- Do your competitors have social media channels?
- Is there an "online community" focused on your industry?
If you answered "yes" to at least one of these questions, read on.
Four Ways to Make It Work
Whether your strategy involves Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or a combination of the three, social media engagement means establishing a personal connection with an audience. Here are four ways to get your staff to share nicely about your company.
1. Be clear. Tell your employees exactly what you hope to accomplish through social media, and exactly how you plan to accomplish it. Be clear about how their involvement will benefit not only the company, but themselves personally.
2. Offer training. Don't assume that your employees will automatically know how to use the platforms. Help them to become proficient users so that they ? and, ultimately, your company's bottom line - will benefit.
3. Be authentic. Authenticity is a key ingredient. And given that your employees are on the inside track when it comes to your company, they, before anyone else, will sense any false promises or inaccuracies in your brand. It will be nearly impossible to get people to participate in something that they see to be a gimmick. Keeping it real is the only way to achieve real results.
4. Make it optional. You can't force your employees to participate in a program that involves their personal identity for business purposes. However, if you've been clear in your goals and how you hope to achieve them, and honest in your strategy, your employees are far more likely to be inclined to participate.
Social media is still a developing technology. By designing your campaigns to encourage the most engagement from your prospects, clients and employees, you will be ahead of the curve in this new marketing frontier.