Use social media at work? Anyone who, while reading this question, thinks reflexively in the direction of “Can’t put it in my bag!”, “Is that even allowed?”, “Playful stuff” or “Waste of time” belongs to a species that is dying out. And species especially become extinct when they can no longer cope with the challenges of a changing environment.
Social Media In The Workplace: The results of the current study “Social Media Atlas 2021” show what opportunities there are in the professional use of social media and what consequences companies should draw from it.
Fifty-four percent of all employed with access to the Internet use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or blogs and their work. Within a year, this share has risen by ten percentage points. This means that in 2021 social media users will form the majority of non-users for the first time in their professional lives.
Social Media: Yes, Where Do You Communicate? – Top Channels In The Workplace
WhatsApp and YouTube are ubiquitous in the work environment. Of the total population of all online users aged 16 and over, almost a third (29 percent each) use the group messenger from Zuckerberg or Google’s do-it-yourself video portal for work. Facebook, which 26 percent of online users use at work, and Instagram, 22 percent are also widespread in everyday work.
Accept Reality, Seize Opportunities, Minimize Risks
Social media are becoming more and more a natural, integral part of our everyday life and our communication habits. This new matter, of course, also includes: On the one hand, business partners, specialists, and customers expect to be able to reach their contact persons in companies via social media channels. And on the other hand, in the age of social media, many more employees express themselves publicly in connection with their work than was usual in the past – and can also find a larger audience without precedent. Trying to stop this ultimately is a risky adventure. Firms need to adapt by identifying and embracing the opportunities presented by social media communications. And at the same time identify and minimize risks.
One of the opportunities is, for example, that employees who are particularly active and experienced in social media can develop into excellent, authentic ambassadors for their company on the social web and thus strengthen the company’s reputation in online public discourse. In many constellations, it can even be worthwhile to specifically promote these employees, for example, within the framework of the company’s corporate blogs.
Social Media In The Workplace: Set Guidelines For Employees
Unsuccessful statements made in the public memory of the Internet by one’s workforce in social media can, in principle, harm the company and its reputation. But neither should this risk be overstated. Especially since the most common missteps and problems of this kind on the social web can be prevented by relatively simple measures. First and foremost, this includes establishing basic guidelines for social media communication for all employees.
Among other things, a clear and unmistakable list of prohibitions regarding social media in the workplace – clear (and not excessive) rules about what “off-limits” are – belongs there, of course. Of course, company secrets and unsolicited photos of colleagues have no place on Facebook, Twitter & Co. It should also be made unequivocally clear: Racist, criminal, or insulting posts constitute grounds for termination.
Positive, supportive handouts should predominate in the social media guidelines—commandments instead of prohibitions. For example, employees should identify themselves as such when they comment on topics relating to their company on it. And that you should always treat your counterpart in Web 2.0 with appreciation, integrity, and courtesy. Those who equip their employees with the necessary tools can confidently look forward to the social media age. And has no reason to long for a bygone era in vain.
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