Published on June 13th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards1
Why are employers so scared of social media?
By Amy @BubbleJobs
While employers are keen to jump on the social media band wagon when it comes to brand promotion and publicity, it looks like the overwhelming majority are less fond of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn when it comes to their individual employees.
According to a pretty cool infographic designed and researched by PayScale, a whopping 42% of companies have banned social media use during employment hours, while 53% actually have a formal policy in place when it comes to social media. Rather than giving their employees freedom and a little trust when it comes to social media, a large number believe things like Twitter and Facebook in the work place should only ever be used for brand promotion and social recruiting.
The infographic (at the bottom of this blog) also shows that different industries have very different opinions when it comes to social media. While 59% of media companies actively encourage employees to use social media, a staggering 71% of energy companies ban the use of any social media at work.
OK, so that’s not that surprising but just what do employers have to be scared of? If they treat their employees right and stick to their promises (and place a little trust in their employees in the first place), I’ve a feeling they could be pleasantly surprised by what they see – it’s when they start to fall back on promises and break bad news that they could have a problem.
Of course, the big concern (and beauty) of social media is its immediacy and reach. From tweets to posts, it’s all instant and while both can be removed at a later date, the damage may have already been caused – an innocent tweet about potential cuts could escalate and cause stock prices of the company in question to tumble – uh oh!
The answer? Definitely have a policy in place regarding the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of your company when it comes to social media and make it clear to employees what will happen if they should breach this policy. While it’s impossible to dictate what your employees decide to tweet and/or post about your company overall, treating them well and giving them a little trust and respect can go a long way – you never know, they could end up giving your company great publicity that money can’t even buy!