Social Media – Is it NETworking or NOTworking?

Posted: September 26, 2012 in career
Tags: , , , , , ,

That IS the question for many of us, both employers and employees. And the answer is not as simple as it may appear to be.

Can time be wasted, hours spent in unproductive activity, posting mundane (What are you doing right now?) notes on any of these online programs? That answer is easy – YES!

…and we must note the likelihood of sharing confidential information, posting inappropriate content or leaving something out in cyberspace where you have limited (or almost no) control over who reads it. Oh, I know there are privacy settings and related controls to reduce this possibility, but my rule of thumb has always been to assume that anyone may bump into your digital musings (your mother, your boss, etc.) and I type (or text) accordingly! I once wrote a blog called on this very topic –

Even with these caveats, most organizations are creating Acceptable Use Policies (AUP’s) for social networking applications, fully aware that they are true opportunities for their appropriate and professional use. I have recently had the opportunity to speak to universities, professional networking groups, Human Resource organizations, etc. on the potential use of applications the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as bona fide business tools.

Here are a few examples of how Social Networking can be a true boon:

  • Seeking real world, almost immediate feedback from your customers and clients on your products or services.
  • Providing an avenue for your staff to collaborate with peers in their industries or disciplines.
  • Opening up a communication channel to interact with clients and potential clients any where in the world.
  • Creating an on-line presence for your organization that enhances your “Brand” in the marketplace.

Do these potential benefits have their downside? Most certainly, but in this global, technology-laced age, failure to consider the appropriate use of some of these new applications may leave you out in the non-digital gulag!


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