Social media revolution

So people are leaping onto the social media bandwagon and the ways in which organisations are marketing/advertising to customers is changing… but are organisations ready for the revolution?

There remains widespread confusion about social media’s “productivity-boosting power or time-sapping potential“.   As Jen Darr’s article, Social Media Week in Review, explores, there are increasing numbers of studies, articles and blog posts that seek to argue both sides of this equation, with no consensus in sight.

In June, 2009,  the US Army ordered bases to stop blocking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr in order to allow soliders to maintain contact with friends and family.  In August, 2009, this order was reversed recently due to security concerns.  Having spoken to a former colleague who happens to be in the forces, he also expressed concerns about having a profile on many social media sites as he has access to confidential information that affects national security and therefore wants to maintain a low (digital) profile.   Fair enough.  But for many of us, we don’t have the same concerns.  And if transparency isn’t an issue, social media sites can have tremendous benefits in both our personal and professional lives, enabling us to connect with friends, family, customers, employees and colleagues.

Then there have been reports of security concerns which have led to organisations to ban these sites, nevermind the statistics about employees accessing these sites during business hours leading to thousands of pounds in wasted productivity.

Funnily enough, I remember, 10 years ago when some organisations banned the internet for much the same reason…

The answer?  Educate your employees.  Produce a set of guidelines which they should adhere to when in the office and let them know what is expected of them.  Trust your employees to do the right thing, and invest in the technology required to secure your infrastructure.

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