Enterprise Social Media – Benefit or long lunch of digital workplace?

lruslys    July 4, 2017

The benefits of social media across the enterprise extends beyond just helping to generate reach and create brand awareness. Marketers and businesses continue to find value in social media, however, the ROI has not fully been proven. Full adoption across the enterprise is slow and its potential has not been added up entirely. Everything from customer and employee engagement and supply chain have benefited from the use of social media. As businesses continue to pursue growth and maximize shareholder value, the question still exists: “Is social media really a benefit or an unwelcome piece in a company’s equation?”

While there are plenty of examples of organizations successfully implementing social media tactics to help them better understand their customers, suppliers, or even employees, there are also challenges to having social media across the enterprise. First, social media requires structure. A proper framework is necessary to be in place in order to understand who is ultimately responsible and what the intended objectives are to using social media. Second, it can cause distractions to employees. Busy employees open, on average, 121 emails per day. Maximizing their focus and time is challenging when communications are coming from more than a few angles. The last potential challenge with having social media across the workplace is heightened CyberSecurity.

Every organization looking to implement social media across the enterprise has to consider that not all employees use social media outside of work and perhaps some more seasoned employees don’t use it at all. Training employees with all the tools necessary to proficiently apply social media gives employees an opportunity to equally understand the basics and ensure a positive adoption. As part of the training of tools and processes, it also provides an opportunity to set the rules or policies in place with using social media in the workplace. Implementing social media policies helps reduce an organization’s risk to negative exposure which can impact the company immensely. Take for example in 2014 an American Apparel employee, responsible for Tumblr, unknowingly posted a picture of the exploding Challenger shuttle on the 4th of July thinking it was fireworks. This is an example of a damaging effect on the brand.

Outside of developing policies to control what is said and shared across social media channels internally and externally, a company must also arm itself with Cybersecurity policies to ensure that there is absolutely no possible way Hackers could access other systems connected to social platforms and plant crippling viruses. Exposing secret information about products or the company can be harmful to any organization with sensitive information to protect.

While there are many ways organization benefit with social media across the organization it can also take up valuable time. It can be distracting and potentially do the opposite of helping with efficiency creation. Employees have learned over time how to prioritize emails, but how can you now ignore someone’s G-chat or DM on Slack. These quick questions or comments peer to peer or in a group can’t go ignored. This can turn a positive community quickly into a negative one. When not responding, a fellow employees understanding and expectations can go misconstrued. It can also lead to other distractions, such as attention away from someone in a meeting or when focused on work tasks. All this can lead to lost productivity, the exact opposite of what it is used for: gathering quick intel from customers on new products to market.


Lessons for Others

While social media adoption is still continuing to accelerate in the workplace, there remains inefficiencies and breakdowns of systems and processes. These will eventually disappear over time and the ROI of social media use across the organization will be very impactful. Over time, the risks will be well documented, with best practices helping uncover any potential misses.


Organization: Flashstock Inc.
Industry: Technology, SaaS, CaaS
Name of Organization Contact: Gary Parkinson - Marketing Manager

Authored by: Linas Ruslys

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.



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