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How Employee Use of Social Media Can Boost Profits

Many companies filter or limit the usage of Internet Chat applications such as Instant Messaging and block Social Media sites. Whether or not this is a good idea really depends on the industry you are in, but regardless, I do believe that there is more merit in allowing the right employees to use these powerful tools.

Just this week alone, I have set two appointment with large companies using non-traditional forms of media. In fact, one connection evolved from a Social Media platform to an Instant Message, and within an house lead to a phone call, followed by an NDA (non disclosure agreement) to continue high level discussions.

I understand the sentiments behind not wanting to allow these, such as the enormous amount of time that can be wasted on them. My recommendation is to establish policies, and most of all establish accountability for work loads. Specifically, employees should be made aware that if they are consistent under performers, it may jeopardize their job. It should also be made clear that these tools, including the content shared on them, are property of the company – as most company policies states. I know people want to argue about their rights and monitoring, and to them I say “if you don’t want to be monitored… don’t use the company’s equipment for personal use” – end of story.

If you aren’t encouraging your sales, management, and business development staff to use these tools, you are actually falling behind the times. Most and more companies are using Social Media sites such as Twitter successfully to connect with their employees. The ones that come to mind immediately are Starbucks and Southwest Airlines – but there are hundreds.

So employers, go out and empower your employees to make it happen. In fact, make it fun and create contests to see who can generate the most business using IM, chat and/or social Media AND reward them financially for making it happen.


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