Social media at work
Your policy for social media at work is probably way out of date. Many corporations today continue to punish their employees for using Facebook, Twitter, or texting at work. In today’s marketplace, this is akin to saying:
We are committed to the old way of business and we will not adapt.
To the contrary, we live in a very technologically connected society and your employees serve as a huge ambassador force to represent your brand to their networks. Instead of complaining about their boss or their job, employees ought to be encouraged- through a robust social media policy- to engage with customers and prospects through the appropriate social networks. This is how your customers want to interact with you anyway!
For example, when I do business with a banker at a large national bank, I do not want to stop in the bank and wait for my turn, I do not want to wait on hold to have a quick phone call, and I may not want to invest the time in an email.
I most certainly however will want to write a text message or instant-message my personal banker on Facebook.
In this scenario, your brand becomes responsive to my needs and ingratiates me to your service and that’s good business. For example, when I have an issue- perhaps I need to filter money to another account or to invest more money in the bank’s product- I want to be able reach my banker quickly in a manner that’s effective for me although perhaps not effective for a control-freak middle manager.
So I’ll send a text or a tweet or send an IM on Facebook (as an example).
When my banker does not respond to me or tells me they can’t text at work or they can’t get on Facebook at work, essentially what my banker is telling me, is this:
“I cannot serve you at work in a manner that’s effective for you because my boss does not understand the modern marketplace.”
And that’s bad for business.
Now I’m not talking about groundlings or mailroom clerks but employees who are directly working with the customers who provide income generating opportunities for the brand need to be motivated by a social media policy in the workplace that promotes business growth.
Your workplace must have a social media policy and a mobile policy in place.
1.The first step in creating a social or mobile policy for your company is to decide who needs to have that kind of access. A good starting point is to consider those who directly interface with your customer base for sales and customer satisfaction. Generally speaking, this would include your sales people and your account managers. If your account manager is handling 25-30 clients in a low touch scenario, then they probably don’t need mobile or social access. But if you’ve got a situation where one account manager or sales person is dealing with five clients and that account manager is responsible for increasing sales, increasing engagements, and essentially ingratiating the client to your company, that person needs to have mobile or social access to your clients.
2.The next step is to decide which social channels require engagement. So if you’re service a B2B marketplace, Twitter might be a great channel for you. You may also want use LinkedIn and, of course, text messaging. There is also a handful of communicator apps that are very effective at delivering short, succinct messages like:
“Hey Brenda, its me. Give me a call later. I want to discuss your stock plans”
“Jim call me later- I’d like to learn more about adding another level of service to my current plan.”
3.The third part of your social media policy is to clarify your policy in writing and to train your people effectively on that policy as a written social media at work policy will prevent and minimize social media abuse and create an positive atmosphere in your office.
After all- you’re empowering your employees and making the workplace more like their fun-space.
So it’s very important that you implement a social policy that’s written down and that your sales people have been trained on. Your workplace should be a place of productivity and results and your social media policy simply recognizes the role that social media plays in achieving those business objectives. The policy should become a part of your company culture so when a bad habit develops you’ll at least be in a position to discipline or re-educate the employee and perhaps revoke privileges.
But seriously, most of your staff will be so thrilled that you’ve stepped up your game, they will be dying to impress you with their efforts.
A lot more can be said about creating a social or mobile employee and you can read more about those types of strategies in this article by Brian Solis and the social workplace. You can also join me on my Facebook or my Twitter page to learn more about creating corporate wide engagement.
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