Social Media at work: Evil or free publicity?

This week I started my internship at Conrad Electronic Benelux. This company is a big electronic retailer on the web. While working there for a few days and thinking about Social Media, there working on a new Social Media strategy, I thought about Social Media and companies banning Social Media on the work floor. It made me wonder, why do companies try to stop people from using Facebook, Twitter or Hyves (In the Netherlands)? Off course if you look at the time people spend on social media during work time and multiply it with their hourly loan it costs the company money. But how much money, a lot of these people read articles because they saw it on social media. You can look at this as people who are learning and become more valuable for the company. i also thought about another advantage of Social Media.

Let’s take Facebook as an example. A random person at a company called X goes onto Facebook and reads the status updates from his friends. This takes a few minutes and then he decides to also update his status. He writes down “Working hard on a new marketing strategy at company X”. Now let’s say he has 300 friends and most of them read this. That’s free advertisement. People start to remember this company. Now if one person does this a few times a month the company won’t think that it’s really publicity. But what if the company employs 50 people who do this and they all have 300 friends and not only do this on Facebook but also Hyves, Twitter and other Social Media Well you can do the math, a lot of people will remember your name.

Therefore i say let people use Social Media it’s free publicity, and then tell them to occasionally write something about the company, new deals or products that are on sale. And I’m sure on the long run you will get more out of it then the few bucks you lose because they spent 5 minutes less working.

Till next time with another Blog about Internet, Internet Marketing or Social Media.

Bart van Duinkerken