Corporate Social Media

By: Mel Joelle

Recent studies have indicated that social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have more than 1.4 billion worldwide users. Facebook leads the pack with more than 780 million users. This is definitely a big figure for anybody to ignore. So, now what does this figure have to do with the corporate structure, you may ask? Well, it definitely has to, because an in-depth analysis of around 11.8 billion business urls in the year 2010 has indicated that about 9% of the business traffic goes straight from the Facebook! Another interesting fact that came to light was that about 9% of corporate bandwidth is spent on YouTube. This is really incredible!

So, the bottom line is, on a normal working day, there are chances that your employees go online. Irrespective of whether you embrace social media in your corporate culture or not, it is important for you to implement a viable Corporate Social Media policy at your workplace. If you lack a solid Corporate Social Media policy, or fail to train your workforce on the technicalities of social networking and its do’s and don’ts, your are exposing your business to potential risks.

Much beyond usual negative remarks or press, this can even open doors to the leakage of your confidential information and trade secrets.

Today there are numerous venues for social and electronic media, and as a business you should have a sound Corporate Social Media policy in place that is capable of addressing to:

1. Guidelines on social media- These guidelines concern all the postings done on a website sponsored by the company. If you have or plan to have a page on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you should allow your employees to interact with your customers and reply to their questions and concerns using this medium.

2. Social Networking policy- It addresses the way your employees speak of their company while they are not on duty.

3. Blogging- This involves posting the comments or blog posts on the company or other blogging sites, YouTube, Bulletin boards, journals and so on. It directly relates to your business and usually done on duty.

4. Monitoring the electronic media- This involves regular monitoring the ways in which your employees use company’s property such as mobile phone, computer or stationery issued to them. The Corporate Social Media policy should stipulate that these gadgets being their property, employees should not expect utmost privacy.

There are adequate laws in place that prohibit employees from interacting on the social media while on duty in the office. With effective monitoring, you can adequately enforce your Corporate Social Media policy within your organization.

If you have a corporate website or are planning to have one, you should ensure that it has adequate social media integration and this should form an important part of your business strategy. The use of social media is set to explode in coming years, and it will become one of the biggest driving force in the way we interact and move ahead in life.

All those businesses that would appreciate and implement a good Corporate Social Media policy will reap huge rewards in the coming years. We are already aware of the power of word of mouth advertising in the marketing and this holds great hope for the businesses who integrate social media in their business operations.

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