Leading PR company Punch Communications has questioned the merits of restricting social media use in the working environment.
Businesses should be cautious when considering preventing social media use. Whilst putting a stop to social networking at work may help to control employee online activity during the day, this does not necessarily mean discussion will not take place outside of working hours. As an alternative to restricting the use of social media, businesses should look to advise their employees how to use it correctly and should create an in-house policy. This will mean employees will know the boundaries and are more likely to respect any rules in place.
Holly Henstock, Account Manager at public relations agency Punch Communications said: “Even if employers rule out the use of social media at work, employees will in most cases still take personal phone calls or send text messages, both of which are more time consuming and costly. Communicating through social media is quicker; an employee can post a comment on Twitter or Facebook in literally a few seconds.”
Companies must allow their employees to use social media in order to realise its potential as a business tool. Social media enables businesses to have greater engagement with consumers compared to that offered through advertising. Businesses can also communicate with their customers on a wider level and receive deeper insight into brand perceptions.
Even if a business has chosen not to engage with social media, in order to control brand message and content, this does not mean they will not be talked about, so it is in the best interest of every employer to adopt it. As an alternative to putting a stop to all use of social media, businesses should look at how others have implemented it successfully. Managing Director of Punch Communications, Pete Goold, recently published a white paper discussing how individuals can become expert online networkers and get the best out of social media.
Aside from traditional PR, Punch is also a search and social media agency, offering integrated digital services to the majority of its clients. For more information on Punch, please contact +44 (0) 1858 411600 or visit punchcomms.com.