By Jonathan Davies

Recent research suggests that 40% of Brits are defying social media bans imposed by their employers at the workplace. But Digital Marketing Show speakers believe such bans are counter-productive for the company.

In a Twitter chat today (Tuesday), Andrew Grill, Global Social Business Partner at IBM and Gideon Lask, CEO and Founder of Buyapowa both spoke about why social media bans don't have a place in the workplace.

"Would you ban email?" said Gideon Lask.

Andrew Grill suggested that the way we work in this modern world makes light work of social media bans. Working using mobile devices has become more and more popular in recent years. And Mr Lask said "mobile smashes those policies apart. It's also counter-productive".

Both were also quizzed on a number of issues surrounding social media for business.

Digital Marketing Show: Is it solely the marketing team’s responsibility to engage on social media?

Gideon Lask: Absolutely not. That’s a wee bit like saying it’s only IT’s job to engage on the internet.

I got involved and asked: Do you think local store accounts (supermarkets, restaurants) create better relationships with customers?

Andrew Grill: The main thing is make your twitter handle visible at your store - on signage/menus/entry & exit.

Gideon Lask: Great question. Yes… and no. There’s no reason why national identities can’t aspire to intimacy, too. The assumption you need a physical relationship with brands distorts one of the aims of social: breaking down old barriers.

International Trade: does social media listening bring more clarity or make more noise for businesses?

Andrew Grill: Social media is the best piece of market research you never commissioned. Use social for insights.

Gideon Lask: More clarity, for sure. But you need to be sure what you’re listening for. Simple brand mentions are often the weakest terms.

Journo Link: how do you monitor competition in the social space?

Andrew Grill: Follow them on social and also put their keywords in your monitoring tools.

Gideon Lask: Trad[itional] metrics (mentions, engagement) are fine but what you should REALLY measure is what kind of thing they’re doing. Are they using social in cutting-edge ways? Driving real sales? Segmenting their messages? Mentioning YOU directly? etc...

Lauren Morris: Is it enough for the departments to ‘watch’ social or should they be engaging?

Andrew Grill: Listening is the start - taking action on what they see is key - and engage if appropriate.

Gideon Lask: The term ‘departments’ in the question is really telling. Social’s not just an after-thought for marketing teams. With that in mind, everyone needs to engage, not simply listen - from marketing to sales to HR to corporate.

Want to learn more from Andrew and Gideon? You can book your FREE ticket to the Digital Marketing Show, 19-20 November Excel Campus, London, here: www.digitalmarketingshow.co.uk

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