How often do you check your Facebook account, tweet something about your day or look at articles on LinkedIn? Whether we use social media for communication, keeping our friends and family posted, staying up-to-date with news or finding information about our favourite brands, it has become a big part of our lives. Research by CIPD found that from a survey of 2000 people, although 76% use social media in their personal lives, only 26% use it for work purposes. So why the discrepancy in usage?
Despite half of respondents having access to social media in the workplace, only half of those actually made use of it. The main reason for the slower uptake of social business is that employees do not yet feel convinced of the value it can add; only 6% of non-users can see the benefits.
With social media being such a big part of our personal lives, does it also need to play a role in our work lives too? Well according to the report by CIPD, yes, as 47% of employees who use social media on a daily basis see real advantages for the company. The following statistics highlight specific areas where social media is benefitting businesses:
- 50% of those who use social media for work purposes say it helps them collaborate with people outside their organisation
- 53% say it gives them meaningful connections with new people
- 1 in 5 state it gives them the opportunity to discuss aspects of their work they would not otherwise have the opportunity to
- 1 in 3 say it assists them in being more responsive to customers
- Around 1 in 4 agree it helps employees to be more influential in their organisations (24%) and provides them with a voice (23%)
There is clearly key support for the benefits of a social business, and encouraging it in your workplace inspires employees to build up an online identity and voice, develop and deepen connections and ensure they stay up-to-date. The Millennial generation have grown up during the rise of social media, meaning it is an even more significant factor in their lives. Therefore, openly encouraging a ‘social media savvy’ workplace will definitely be an attractive element to this generation. In a time where employee engagement is a wide-spread issue, an open approach to social media and inspiring employees to develop an online presence could really help improve engagement.
The increasing popularity of social media and customers utilising it to find out more about a brand, means a business simply cannot not have an online presence. When researching a company it has a very positive impact if you see they have a strong online personality and strive to vocalise themselves throughout different channels, as well as encouraging this throughout the whole company.
So where do you stand on social business? Does your organisation promote it or are you still waiting to see the benefits?