by Dylan McNeil
In this modern world, technology has progressed quickly, that social media is forever at our disposal via smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Social networking is a debatable topic on whether it is a positive option to have during work or if it is upright distracting. Every business is different on the guidelines of how they approach social networking. Some businesses heavily rely on this alternative or businesses will prohibit the use of it because they feel it effects productivity. Social media has become the new playground for businesses to market themselves efficiently. It offers opportunities for companies to reach clients and establish their brands awareness. But, using these options to their full potential is tricky and can carry a peculiar set of risks. When operating a business it is good to take in effect on all factors when using social networking. Without a doubt this type of networking will inevitably be the future but which is the most productive and safe?
Key Types of Social Networking in Businesses
Facebook: One of the first options for businesses for establishing a social media presence. The main reasons why Facebook is the go to option for businesses is because it is simple and flexible.
Google+: Another favorable social network device among businesses. Not as popular but good use for intimate, tailored conversations with clients.
Twitter: Used for companies to keep on date of news flashes or links to share with there followers.
Instagram: A platform used by businesses to display visuals to represent there company. This platform is one of the biggest networking tools in businesses to date.
LinkedIn: Popular among freelancers as a networking tool to connect with customers or employees.
Social media is excellent for businesses to expand their horizons to the public with little cost or no cost at all compared to traditional marketing options (“Social Media: What are the advantages and disadvantages of social networking sites?”). Getting brands out there on wide platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can bring in new customers and make brands more exposed. Not only that but customer service can also be improved instantly from on the spot feedback from clients. For employees, social networking is a good alternative for them to discuss ideas, news, share information and ask questions within the company (“Social Media Advantages and Disadvantages in Business”). It can improve a business’s reputation and client base with low cash and little use of advertisement. Social networking does not just pinpoint small groups, it targets a wide audience, making it an effective recruitment tool. Finally it can expand market research, implement marketing campaigns, deliver communications, and direct interested people to specific websites.
Social media can be a powerful marketing platform but it is not risk free. People who follow business pages are mostly free to post their comments which can bring out negative publicity for companies. Hackers are another threat to companies on social networking because they can share false information that can go viral in minutes (“Security and online networking”). It increases the risk for people to fall victim to online scams that seem legit but can result to data or identity theft. One of the main results of social networking can be loss of productivity for employees. Another potential negative outcome is if a company were to not respond to negative feedback right away, it could ruin the companies reputation. Also social networking has decreased the use of face to face communication in work areas. Some issues really require the use of face to face communication and nowadays workers are using social networking to try to avoid this kind of communication.
- In the year 2014, Facebook had 1.3 billion users, Twitter with 284 million active users, and LinkedIn with over 347 million users (Gouveia, “2014 Wasting Time at Work Survey”).
- 32 percent stated that social networking helped them create team building opportunities
- 36 percent reported that social media helped them gain information on clients and employees
- 38 percent say that social networking helped them solve solutions to problems.
- 46 percent said that it helped them come up with creative ideas for business
- 65 percent say that it made them a more efficient employee during work hours (Gouveia, “2014 Wasting Time at Work Survey”).
This is a graph showing the most used social media platforms based on popularity and the amount of visits in percentages(“U.S. top social media sites visit share 2015 | Statistic”).
- Social media is a major time waster and here are the times:
31 percent waste 30 minutes, 31 percent waste one hour daily, 16 percent waste 2 hours daily, 6 percent waste 3 hours daily, 2 percent waste hours daily, and 2 percent waste 5 hours daily (Gouveia, “2014 Wasting Time at Work Survey”).
- This means that 4 percent of people wasted half the average work day on non-related work tasks.
- 24 percent of workers waste there time on google
- 23 percent on Facebook
- 14 percent on LinkedIn
- 7 percent on Yahoo
- 2 percent on Amazon
- 2 percent on YouTube
- 2 percent on ESPN
- 1 percent on Pinterest (Fernandes, “Social Media at workplace: Facts and Observations”) .
- Collaboration: is when a group works together through idea sharing and thinking to accomplish a common goal. Its a form of teamwork but in a more professional sense. If the employees and officials can collaborate to set rules for social networking then these alternatives can be more efficient. With technology, such as high speed internet, web-based programs, file sharing, email and video-conferencing, collaboration can be easy and effective. Also it can teach employees and officials how to use technology through collaboration skills (Hill).
- Limit the time you are spending on tasks: according to research only 17 percent of people are able to keep track of there time they spend on certain tasks. There is tools such as Rescue Time that can help by letting you know how much time you are spending on certain tasks, including social media, email, word processing, and apps (Rampton, “15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work”) .
- Do not multitask: psychologists have discovered that if you are to do several tasks at a time it will not increase your productivity, it will make it worst. Make a habit of doing one thing at a time before moving on to anything else (Rampton, “15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work”).
- Make sure to power off your notifications: Its hard to resist the urge to open notifications so during work hours power off your notifications. Set times throughout the day such as little breaks to check your notifications. This will keep you from being distracted (Rampton, “15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work”).
Social networking is increasingly surpassing different realms every year. The benefits allow for great marketing techniques, widening connections, establishing a reputation, building teamwork, and getting recognition by the world’s audience. If boundaries and rules are set right by company’s then social networking is only a benefit and can make a company more successful. Although their are some drawbacks to take into consideration such as hackers, wasting work productivity, and the potential to ruin a company’s reputation. One of the main factors that lures companies away from social networking is that employees are spending too much of there productivity time on the web. There are simple solutions to cure some negative effects to social networking. Collaboration is a good technique to kill two birds with one stone because it teaches workers professional teamwork skills as well as how to use social networking platforms to collaborate. Other solutions include time management on devices, turning off notifications and not multitasking. Through time a specific guidelines there will be a fine balance when using social networking alternatives. The future is now and if there is no avoiding it then the only thing to do is to get on the program and join.
Fernandes, S. (2015, March 25). Social Media at workplace: Facts and Observations. Retrieved December 10, 2015, from http://www.techtimetea.com/social-media-workplace-facts-observations/
Gouveia, A. (2014, March 18). 2014 Wasting Time at Work Survey. Retrieved December 10, 2015, from http://www.chron.com/jobs/salary/article/2014-Wasting-Time-at-Work-Survey-5347458.php
Rampton, J. (2015, February 4). 15 Ways to Increase Productivity at Work. Retrieved December 10, 2015, from http://www.inc.com/john-rampton/15-ways-to-increase-productivity-at-work.html
Security and online networking. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2015, from https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/security-and-online-networking
Social Media Advantages and Disadvantages in Business. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2015, from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/social-media-advantages-disadvantages-business-21665.html
Social Media: What are the advantages and disadvantages of social networking sites? What should we include in a policy? (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2015, from http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/socialnetworkingsitespolicy
U.S. top social media sites visit share 2015 | Statistic. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2015, from http://www.statista.com/statistics/265773/market-share-of-the-most-popular-social-media-websites-in-the-us/