Leveraging Social Technology in the Workplace

Published: November 29, 2012 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Working and Workplaces

In today's technology-driven society, social media is ingrained in everyday life. Some companies--currently more than half in the United States--attempt to ban social media completely from the workplace, believing that it results in distraction and a loss of productivity. However, this article from accurately points out the futility of blocking social tech, citing not only the expansive costs of such a strategy, but also the fact that online networking brings distinct advantages to the workplace.

Let's face it: Whether you like it or not, your employees are going to be involved in social media. How can your company leverage this fact, rather than try to fight it? There are several points to consider when incorporating social technology into your daily business activities, from deciding which platforms will most benefit your company, to ensuring that your staff is comfortable embracing social technology for business use.

How social technology can help your company

Forbes Magazine explores the advantages of social tech in the workplace, as well as methods that companies can use to develop a solid strategy for incorporating social media at work. Citing a recent study from McKinsey, the article emphasizes that the key benefits of social technology for businesses are improved communications and strengthened collaborations.

Platforms such as Yammer, Microsoft Lync, and Salesforce Chat let your team share information, files, and other essential data quickly and efficiently, no matter where they're located--a vital advantage in today's increasingly mobile and geographically diverse workforce. In addition, encouraging employees to engage in positive, business-related social media activities brings wider consumer interaction with your company's brand. This type of casual marketing is often more powerful than traditional channels, as it's viewed as "peer recommendation" rather than advertising.

Deciding on your social technology implementation

How can you choose the best strategies for integrating social technology in the workplace? Forbes discusses five ways to ensure a valuable social experience, beginning with leadership. The platform or platforms you use should be a natural extension of your organization's leadership style, easily integrating with the working environment.

To ensure a smooth rollout, it's also a good idea to check with your employees during the planning phases. Many of them may already be using some form of social media in relation to business, whether it's an active LinkedIn profile or a Microsoft SkyDrive account for easier information sharing with clients.

In any case, leveraging social technology in the workplace is not counterproductive. When businesses embrace social media, collaboration and communication improve.

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