Customer engagement via social media networking brings people in and helps keep them there.
Editors note: This article is part one of a three-part series.
To encourage social media networking in the workplace or not to encourage social media networking in the workplacethat is todays question. Whether for customer service, sales, social recruiting or innovation, social networking provides opportunities for businesses of all sizes to improve their bottom line.
It was not long ago when almost all organizations blocked their employees from engaging in social media networking activities during the workday. According to a survey from Robert Half Technology as recently as 2009 54 percent of employers banned their workers from social networking on the job. Fast forward to 2012 and the story has flipped, not necessarily by design but because organizations realize that it is often a losing battle as the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) employee is becoming the new normal. In a recent survey titled Social Media & Workplace Collaboration by SilkRoad, 43 percent of employees surveyed indicated their employers allowed full access to social media networks and only 16 percent said it was blocked.
Success with Social Media
Many employers express concern that social media network access during the workday will harm productivity as employees watch videos, shop, talk with friends or engage in personal business on company time. And, if you give your employees no clear direction that can be just what happens. However, if you work with your employees to help them understand your goals and how it can fit with what they already like to do, you may be surprised with the results.
One company creating a successful approach to employee social networking is Zappos. The company understands that the social in social networking can be the key to boosting business. What does Zappos do? It recognizes that its employees are often the best conduits to customers so the organization lets them be the best conduit to customers. Zappos encourages employees to find organic opportunities to share, engage and have fun in social networks. By enabling employees to do what they do naturally as the most connected generation, they create happier employees who find ways to attract customers.