Many of you will be amazed to know that some companies still have a firewall that prevents the employees from accessing the internet freely. Yes, I mean it. The employers think their employees will waste their precious time on social media and end up being unproductive.

I beg to differ! In today’s tech-savvy world social media has an important role to play in our lives. It is assumed that social media is exclusively for non-official interactions. But the latest functionalities available are so broad and comprehensive that you can use the social media very effectively for your business collaborations.

I am sure a majority of the employees know how to use social media and are in fact comfortable using it. The employers should hence encourage the use of social media in the company. For example, newcomers can get a fair idea about the company culture and know the people through the social network. They might have heard many of the employee names but did not know whose face these names represent. Social media will give them a chance to know other employees and even interact with some of them without any inhibitions. Now don’t you think that is a great way to induction into the team and the company as a whole?

I feel social media helps in a better way to interact with a larger audience (say a big team). You can easily send across some critical updates to a large group along with supporting images and figures. Of course, you can do it though, the traditional methods like emails and team meetings. But social media gives you much more features and functionalities to communicate things in a faster way, so why not use it? Since social media is available on various devices - tabs, smart phones etc., the employees can literally work from anywhere anytime. Hence the productivity is in fact, increasing multifold.

Sometimes a socialised intranet could be a great alternative for your brand. Here people can share their ideas and thoughts regarding some of the trends and developments related to business. Other employees have access to these posts; hence they can comment on it and express their views as well. A healthy discussion can take place over the social network instead of a meeting room. If the idea goes well with everybody, it gets an uplift and will be absorbed and made actionable. But if the idea is not feasible or lacks innovation, other would won’t support it. In this way, it withers away and becomes obsolete. I feel these kinds of interactions make the employees more energetic and you can see more ideas and concepts appearing on the forum, sometimes from the least expected people. What more do you want from your employees than energy, innovation and imagination?

Most of the businesses need people interaction especially client interaction. Think of the sales team. The team needs to reach to the maximum audience to convey about their products and services. Is there a better and cheaper way to do it than through social media? The best part is that the sales team can quickly interact and update the prospective customers about their products and therefore convert a simple chat into a business opportunity. The results are much faster and effective than the traditional methods. Most of the businesses use social media to promote themselves. Networks like LinkedIn explicitly encourage this kind of sales promotion, helping find business leads. The sheer number of audience on the social media is so high that if you are going to restrict the use of social media, your competitors are surely going have the edge over your company in the business.

Have you ever thought of using social media as a means of talent hunt? Well, it is indeed an excellent way to find top talent for your company. Instead of paying substantial fees to the recruiting agencies to find a suitable candidate, you can simply share the vacancies and job descriptions with your employees and urge them to share it on their social network. What could be the result? You are accessing the networks of each of your employees and also more networks if their contacts share the openings. So now a huge network and a vast audience has access to your openings. Your hiring manager gets to choose from a larger pool of talent and hence can tap the right talent in a better and cheaper way.

Social media is quite robust and up to date. That would mean some of the business ideas and concepts might appear on the social media first before it comes to the board rooms. Encouraging your employees to learn and share about such business related news in the employee circle would surely help your brand stay ahead of times. What’s more, you employees can quickly find the changing trends and strategies in the market, especially related to your competitors. They can collect the data and use this for further research and analysis to help decide about the future actions.

I hope my views and facts presented above would convince at least a few of companies to allow the use of social media in offices. People anyway have smartphones and smart devices where they will access the social media. So why restrict them from doing so on the company network. In fact, you should try and tap into the potential of social media and make it work for the betterment of your business and the brand. Good Luck!