By Pete Goold, Managing Director, Punch Communications
Employers should ignore the perceived wisdom of blocking staff usage of social media during office hours and instead educate them regarding its potential benefits, particularly in a search engine marketing context, says Digital Public Relations, search and social media agency Punch Communications.
Many employers, including some PR companies, are nervous of allowing access to social media sites, a situation which is fuelled by anecdotes of some employees spending hours at a time on video based sites such as YouTube, or simply networking via Facebook or Twitter.
Linked In remains a site which is accepted by the largest number of employers, because of its many potential uses in a commercial context, despite the fact that in some regards it poses the greatest threat. Given the benefits of using Linked In, from recruitment to business development, many employers are keen to encourage staff to use the site. Yet given its application as a recruitment vehicle and the way that profiles are laid out in a CV-type format, this effectively grants licence for employees to either approach or be approached by potential new employers.
Whilst it’s certainly the case that employers typically frown on the use of social media in the workplace — it’s also true that social networking presents a terrific opportunity, when armed with a little knowledge. Given the benefits of social media links to search engine marketing activities, a willing and socially-adept workforce is able to add significant value to a site’s overall visibility in search engines.
Clearly the point is not to encourage people to play with social media at the expense of their primary role — but the approach of a few simple guidelines, coupled with a grown-up, self policing policy can deliver a genuine commercial benefit.
Join us on