Social Media: prefect communication tool or too much bother?

Social media in all its forms – Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Linkedin, YouTube, the list goes on – has significant and challenging pros and its cons. T

The trick lies in distinguishing how to use social media for good, not evil!

As a communication tool, nothing is faster and more immediate than the likes of Twitter.

Information is shared in bite-sized pieces to millions of people faster than at any other time in our history. In the recent times of crisis we’ve experienced, Twitter has proven itself to be an effective way of sharing news and updates. For businesses, it can be a tool which you can add to your information toolbox for crisis management, along with emails, text messages and websites.

Social media is also a cost-effective way to get your company’s message out to your audience, be it news of upcoming events, product releases or sales.

However, be warned, you will need to develop a social media marketing plan before you begin and implementation of that plan needs to be tightly controlled. Cyberspace can be unforgiving and with one wrong step the damaging post can go viral.

When it comes to your staff, you need to ensure they fully understand their obligations to you, their employer.

Each and every day employees are being disciplined by their managers because they’ve blogged or posted something inappropriate about their colleagues, workplace or managers. What is said in cyberspace isn’t protected by any “freedom of speech” – contrary to what many employees think!

In the end it comes down to the way you communication with your staff – online and offline. Make your expectations clear to your employees but approach the possibilities of social media with an open mind – you might be pleasantly surprised with the results.