Social Media Use at Work is For Work, Research Says
Six in 10 employees access social media multiple times a day at work, according to research released today from SilkRoad Technology. The social talent management software company also found that nearly half of those people are logging on to connect with coworkers, with connecting with customers the third most popular reason, at 44 percent (simply connecting with others was number two, at 47 percent).
This survey of 1,100 people across North America demonstrates that people are using social media at work to do their jobs, and to do their jobs better, not necessarily for personal reasons. The survey also found that the activity is consistent and similar across many different employers, whether or not they allow social media use at work. Only 43 percent of respondents said they worked in an organization where social media access was completely open. Just under a quarter said that access was monitored, while 16 percent said that social media access was completely blocked.
"Companies can no longer ignore social tools, nor the ways that their employees use them to share and access information," said W. Edward Vesely, CMO at Silkroad Technology, in the full report of the survey and its findings. "These new technologies can be used to create business value, share information, engage employees - and even create dialogue with customers and prospects."
Placing restrictions on social media use at work isn't effective, and might be a hindrance when it comes to your company's marketing and customer support. What might more effective is creating a strong, consistent social media policy and providing social media training to employees. The survey found that 23 percent have a specific social media policy, while the same percentage have no policy at all. As if that's not muddy enough, 17 percent said their employers had issued informal guidelines, while only 10 percent offered social media training to employees. If employees across all companies, across all generations, will be using social media as part of their job, then its best for companies to embrace it.
Do you use social media at work? If so, what for? What can your company do to accommodate employees and their use of social media better?