by Paula on January 3, 2011

I was reading an article earlier in the Financial Times online about how SME’s need to start harnessing the opportunities offered by Social Media. You can read that article here.

There is a definite divide in companies between those who recognise it’s potential and are embracing it as part of their marketing strategy, and those who see it as something purely Social to distract employees from doing their job, and do everything in their power to restrict access.

Back in November I wrote a Blog ‘Personal Browsing at Work?’ which looked at how employers need to consider hard their views on banning Social Media sites and work out ways to make them a part of working life.

This article has made me think even further about the opportunities not just for interaction with other companies but about cross-company interaction with Social Media. It is no surprise to me that the businesses most keen to block Social Media from the workplace are also the companies with the worst internal communications. Perhaps both are examples of how they just don’t recognise the importance of connection and conversation in making people feel a part of the company.

Imagine if the company had it’s own Social Network that communicated regularly with it’s staff. It would be a very positive boost to the staff to be communicated with and in a way that is familiar and recognisable to them. Let’s not forget the huge numbers of people on Facebook and that it is now visited more regularly that Google! A Facebook group for a Project Team, or an internal group for internal staff communications would be a great way to introduce your company to Social Media in a monitored way. Perhaps then when you are more comfortable with it, you will be able to see the advantages of letting trained people use it to communicate with clients and supplliers.

After all, for the foreseeable future Social Media is here to stay, and so finding a way of making it work within your business is far more likely to reap positive attitude in staff and clients alike, than sticking your head in the sand and hoping it goes away.

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