Social media: What’s your policy?
Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn: Social media has seeped into the online consciousness of hundreds of millions of people around the globe, and there are no signs of it stopping. At a time when business technology is becoming increasingly consumerised, the prevalence and pervasiveness of social media means companies off all sizes and sectors are having to look at how social media can work for them.
At the start of 2011, the research group Gartner issued papers on the subject of social media, describing how the technology provided “tempting opportunities” for companies to more effectively interact with everybody as diverse as employees, customers, business partners and anonymous users.
One analyst at the firm, Carol Rozwell, even so far as to went say social media “disrupts the long-standing rules of business in many ways,” and as a result “Those who participate in social media need guidance from their employer about the rules, responsibilities, ‘norms’ and behaviours expected of them, and these topics are commonly covered in the social media policy.”
The firm believes the pervasiveness of social media is such that it forecasts its use will surpass email as the primary form of communication for business users. As such, Gartner recommended companies of all sizes develop policies in order to effectively manage the use of consumer services for business – and called for social policy designers to ask seven critical questions.
Acas studies HMRC social media policy - how the tax department is responding, as detailed in ‘Workplaces and Social Networking: The Implications for Employment Relations’