Managing Social Media Use In The Workplace

Companies are facing the challenge on how to balance their staff’s right to use social media networks at work for business purposes, which might increase the company revenue and help build the company image, in opposition to staff using social media for personal purposes.

Social media comes with various opportunities for businesses to improve their brand recognition and the ability to connect with consumers enabling easy communication, sharing of information and market research on non-formal platform allowing companies and consumers to build a better relationship.

By Miriam Kunjanja

According to POTRAZ  second quarter of 2017 shows that a total of 3.1 billion Megabytes of data were consumed representing a 15.8% increase in data consumption from 2.7 billion Megabytes recorded in the previous quarter previous quarter. All the mobile operators registered an increase in data usage. The rise in social media has contributed to the increasing data and internet usage.

The introduction of social bundles such as WhatsApp and Facebook bundles by operators has driven the popularity and usage of these social networks in the country with WhatsApp and Facebook accounting  for 44.2% and 1.8% respectively of total internet and data usage, a great opportunity for corporations and businesses  to use social media to benefit themselves and consumers by offering special promotions, product information technical support and customer service  since most consumers have access to Facebook and WhatsApp via mobile phones or other internet portable devices.

Social media can be used to build a company’s image or at times break it. People have gone to a point of writing controversial statements or breaking news claiming to be from a certain company and the message swiftly spreads across the country defaming the mentioned company and the number of people who see and share the false statement is double than the ones who see and share the corrected statement on social media.

Social media is now enveloping in our world with existing social networks like Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn WhatsApp among others, are expanding, it has become a game changer in the way of communication as it provides instant ways of sharing information even though the information is unreliable and untrustworthy

However social media has the ability to harm employees’ productivity and creativity as it is difficult to regulate how individuals are going to be using their connectivity access. Workers who use social media for work-related purposes might find it difficult to properly concentrate on their duties as there is the temptation of checking and peering trending updates being posted or shared on their personal Facebook pages or WhatsApp groups.

It is necessary for employees to self- regulate by focusing on what they are supposed to do  to improve company productivity and to prioritize their daily task  in order to accomplish great results and a better working environment with their employer.

There is need for employer to have, maintain and manage a fairly written social media policy written in  favour of both employee and employer.

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