Social media is something that seems to be a part of all of our lives at the moment, therefore it makes sense that social media is also going to seep into our working lives and have an impact too. For many, the idea of social media in the workplace is largely negative, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, there are both pros and cons to social media in the workplace, so let’s look at the main considerations.
PRO: Social media is something that many people can use
One huge benefit to social media for communication is that it is likely to be something that many people are aware of how to use. This means that the engagement is going to be much higher than it may have been for other forms of employee internal comms such as old school intranets. Social media is also something that your employees are likely to already have on their phones, so you won’t have to worry about asking them to download additional apps in order to stay in touch.
CON: It can be misused
Allowing staff members to access social media whilst they are in the workplace may not be something that businesses want to encourage. Especially since it can mean that social media can end up being misused during working time. For example, a staff member can say that they are simply looking at social media in order to communicate and catch up with things related to your business. However, they are actually using their own social media accounts, chatting with friends or reading through their newsfeed, rather than doing their work.
A good way to combat this is to set up a social media policy that your staff members are going to need to abide by -or be in breach of. If you do choose social media (in one of its many platforms) as a way to communicate with staff members, then you need to ensure that they understand that their social media accounts can only be used for this purpose during working time, and not to check their own social media profiles.
PRO: Easy and quick for mass comms
If there was an emergency in your workplace and you needed to communicate with many staff members all at once then there are a couple of things that you are going to want. You are going to want a platform for communication, like a modern intranet, that not only can be posted on quickly, read quickly but also one that can reach many people at once, no matter where they are.
It is no lie that social media can absolutely offer this to you. Especially if you opt for WhatsApp or Facebook messages. These can be sent with ease, they can be delivered to everyone who needs to know what is going on, and doesn’t require them to download any additional apps to read.
Not only this but by using social media in this way, you are also creating communications which is easy to share between staff. Making the all-important message even easier to spread around.
CON: Not purpose-built
WhatsApp and Facebook might be a great way to sort things out with your friends, but that doesn’t mean that it is suitable for internal work communications. There have been huge steps made in trying to keep both of these forms of communication more secure and data compliant, but neither of them is completely safe. Something that has definitely been highlighted in the media of late and if you are using these platform for internal communications you are making your data vulnerable.
The fact that these platforms are not entirely safe is not good news. It means that any internal comms that you may send on either of these communication tools, could end up in the wrong hands, causing huge repercussions and ripples in your business as a whole.
So, what is the alternative?
If you decide that using social media for internal comms is off the table, you might wonder whether or not there are any other ways that you can keep in touch with your staff members and encourage them to talk with one another about work-related tasks? This is where employee intranet can definitely help. Not only is it designed for the exact use case of communication, but it is also incredibly safe and secure too.
Another alternative is employee apps, which can be downloaded to smartphones, encouraging employees to communicate with one another as well as stay on top of communication for your business too. They often work much like a social media platform, which means that they are not only going to have a familiar layout as the usual social media apps but that they are also going to be easy to use too.