Social Networking Pros and Cons

 By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International    6-16-2011

Takeaways:  Social networking mini-breaks help relieve boredom, increase productivity, and encourage team building.

Social Networking at WorkAccording to a 2010 study by Brent Coker, “Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing,” workers who social surf up to 20% of their total workweek actually increase their productivity 12%.  These mini-breaks from the mental challenges of work relieve the brain of tedium and help to clear the mind.

The above study was cited in the June 2011 Costco Connection magazine. According to the study. researchers found that participating in social networks online actually helps build additional knowledge to help further company growth.

The article also quoted a Costco member as saying, “Use of social media is essential to team building, well-being and a sense of collective purpose, especially in smaller companies where staff may be isolated at different sites.”

Social networks are also a quick way to get answers at work. I recall a technical computer problem I had that I spent hours trying to resolve, including support calls to Microsoft, with no success. I posed a question on LinkedIn and within minutes, received the right answers from several high level technical experts which helped me resolve my issue.

Some drawbacks

Allowing staff to openly use social media can lead to leaks of confidential information, poor brand image, and even customer service concerns. The article cites the example of Pro footballer Antonio Cromartie who was fined $2,500 for “breaching NFL rules for tweeting that the poor food served to players on Virgin Atlantic was linked to poor performance.”

According to the article, Deloitte’s 2009 Ethics & Workplace survey found that 74% of employed Americans say damaging a brand’s reputation like this is easy. Consequently, it’s important to have a social networking policy and ensure that all staff understand the parameters of that policy.  Check with your Legal Department before implementing it, though, since monitoring employee social networking activities raises legal questions about employee privacy vs. company rights.

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This entry was posted in Performance Management, Social Media, social networking by Jeri Denniston. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jeri Denniston

Jeri Denniston is a certified Strategic Management Professional with proven performance in strategic marketing, social media strategies, management, public relations, and business planning. During her career she has mentored and trained co-workers and staff in communication and leadership skills, facilitated board and management retreats, led workshops in strategic management and systems thinking, and directed strategic planning projects for the development of new products and markets in the financial, marketing information and publishing industries. Skilled in digital marketing, she teaches internet marketing and social media & mobile marketing at Yavapai College. Jeri's language skills include high level fluency in Spanish and proficiency in French. She has a masters in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.

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