Should you Give Employees Access to Facebook, Twitter?

When I talk with clients and present to groups about social media, one of the most often-asked questions I get it whether an organization ought to give its employees access to social media while they are at work. Firms, companies and organizations of all kinds and sizes are concerned that their staff is going to waste time on Facebook, Twitter and other social media rather than concentrate on work. No doubt, this is a subject for debate. The rule of thumb I use is to first, ask several questions: Do you have Millennial and Gen-Y employees? This would be anyone age 22-30ish. Do you trust your employees, and do they feel they trust you - as their employer? Are they already using the Internet for their daily tasks? Do they have smart cell phones and access social media? I think you can see where I'm headed with this! Actually, the only question that requires some thinking is #1 - and that probably is also a no-brainer. Of course you have employees ages 22-30. The rest of the questions are rhetorical. My opinion is that you must allow employees access to social media in order to make them feel as if you trust what they are doing, but also to make them feel a part of the company - IF - and that's a big if - they are using social media to extend your company/firm brand. What I mean by this is that your "brand" is absolutely your core competency; your employees who use social media and identify themselves as part of your organization, are projecting your brand to countless prospects, and hopefully, clients.  That's where the real value of social media comes into play. If employees are tweeting about what they had for dinner last night or the latest party they attended, that's not appropriate behavior as part of the workplace. However, if they are tweeting about an industry the firm works in, or a particular accounting issue, that's another story. What you want to have in place is a solid social media policy/strategy to help you define what is appropriate and what is not. This would be a great starting point to re-emphasize with your employees that you trust them to do the right thing. What is your opinion? Should employers Give Employees Access to Facebook, Twitter?

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