According to Pew Research, 77% of workers report using social media while they’re at work regardless of whether their employers have a social media policy in place.
Overall, it’s starting to make more sense to train staff to use social media in the right ways at work rather than denying that they use social media at all or trying to prevent them from using social media altogether. Why? Because regardless of what you do or don’t do, your employees will still use social media while they’re at work, period.
Benefits of Social Media in the Workplace
If you’re on the fence about whether you should officially allow your employees to use social media while they’re at work, consider the following benefits that using social media in the workplace offers.
Social media in the workplace:
- Allows employees to take a mental break from their work tasks so that they can recharge and de-stress;
- Encourages employees to form an extensive professional network;
- Improves your employees’ ability to share and discover information; and
- Helps solidify your organization’s branding and communications strategies.
Keeping those benefits in mind, here are three best practices to follow once you begin training your staff to use social media at work.
1. Implement a Comprehensive Social Media Policy
An organization’s social media policy should outline how its employees are to conduct themselves online. And it should outline how employees can legally and safely share their organization’s message on various platforms while detailing accountability guidelines for each employee.
A social media policy should include things like branding guidelines (how to talk about your company and products), etiquette and engagement guidelines (how and if you want employees to respond to positive or negative mentions of your brand), sharing your company’s confidential information (what company information should or should not be shared), consequences of abuse of social media, etc. Read Hootsuite’s article “How to Write a Social Media Policy for Your Company” for more details.
2. Know Why and How Employees Use Social Media at Work
When you’re outlining your policy and developing your social media training programs, always keep in mind why and how employees use social media at work. According to Pew Research, here are the top reasons employees use social media at work:
- To take a mental break from work,
- To connect with friends and family,
- To find information that helps solve a work-related problem, and
- To forge or build professional connections and to support those connections.
3. Encourage Professional and Personal Connections and Communications
Whether your employees are connecting with one another or with others outside of your organization on social media, it strengthens the value that they can bring to your organization. They’ll be able to enhance their knowledge and expertise, strengthen stakeholder relationships, and boost engagement levels with your customers—all by communicating with their online networks on a regular basis in a more relaxed environment.
Tomorrow’s post will contain six more best practices to follow once you begin training your staff to use social media at work.