Personal or professional life, private or public space: social networks blur the borders in the company. Their untimely use can divert employees from their primary mission, or even pose a threat to the e-reputation of a company. However, there are practices and tools for making social media a strategic internal asset as well as a vector for the image of the company.
The fear of slippage, that can prejudice the e-reputation
We all know cases that went wrong when employees spoke about their employer on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. A post to criticize or insult a manager, a tweet to denounce or dissociate from a decision of the board of directors, a like or sharing an article that discredits the company … As many potential violations to its reputation, exposing the perpetrator to prosecution.
The abuse of freedom of expression, when it leads to denigration or lack of loyalty to one’s employer, is indeed a ground for dismissal for serious misconduct if speaking on social media has an impact beyond the private sphere. For a simple question of account setup in appearance, an employee can degrade in an instant the e-reputation of his company, which it has patiently built over the years …
A real threat to productivity
Nearly six in ten French people are active on social networks, and spend an average of 1h22 per day according to the data collected by We Are Social. The « peak hours » on social media correspond to the hours outside the office (12h / 14h and 18h / 20h), but that does not mean that the employees cut any contact with their community at their place of work!
The use of social networks in the office is certainly allowed, but it becomes punishable if the employer finds abuse. Because the risk for the latter is the loss of productivity of its teams when they are monopolized by private exchanges on WhatsApp, or hypnotized by their Instagram news feed. A 2016 study by Karspersky Lab revealed that participants were 26% more productive when they were without a smartphone! The CNIL allows the filtering of social media websites on employees’ workstations … at the risk of encountering a mixed reception from them.
Allow social networks to better frame them
Pointing at social networks at a time when they have become unavoidable in our lives? It’s chasing after a bygone era. Wanting to ban them from the company is even more anachronistic that they are fully part of an online marketing strategy to increase the visibility of the brand among its targets. Social media is indeed a powerful lever of notoriety for a society, which can shape its speech to attract and retain its own community.
Rather than prohibition and repression, better are acceptance and supervision! Through the implementation of a charter about social networks in the company for example, in order to get out of the unspoken and to raise awareness of the authorized and hollow uses, to those who are proscribed. Flexibility with social media is the best way to prevent risk … but also to take advantage of it.
Make employees ambassadors of the brand
And if we looked at social networks as an opportunity? So employees become assets if we decide to make them ambassadors of the brand. In the logic of employee advocacy, an employee can express himself on social media in his area of expertise; this increases both the scope and the weight of the company’s digital presence. Because each employee has his own community on social networks, which broadens the audience and increases visibility. And a word that does not come « from above » gains credibility, it enjoys greater confidence in being embodied. Employees who are also ambassadors of the brand : this is more influence for the company, but it is also a lever to optimize the commitment of employees, who see it as a form of valuation as much as an evolution tool.
Social media serving corporate culture
How far should a company go to fully integrate social networks into the internal social life? By switching from digital to phygital! By giving them a physical presence in the office, by stopping the individual connection – almost clandestine – and making them a relay of information.
Employees have a natural proximity with the social media, thus they become de facto more effective channels than those more traditional of the internal communication. Digital signage content related to the company displayed on monitors in visible places of exchange and sharing like the coffee machine or the cafeteria, acts as a trigger to inspire and engage teams, giving them to see good practices. Finding their publication displayed on full screen brings a feeling of acknowledgement, and help strengthening the sense of belonging. At this stage, social networks are no longer a danger, but an element of the corporate culture.
By Fabien Zaghini from
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