There was once an English King named Canute who planted his throne on the beach, sat in it, and ordered the tide to stop coming in. He nearly drowned. No matter how powerful you are, you can’t stop the inevitable. Then integration of Social Media in our workplaces is no longer an “if” but a “when” and to what degree. Last year many people have experienced what it is like to take on these new practices, and others what it’s like to fight them. Neither option is easy, but only one provides a benefit to your staff.
According to Edison Research, 56% of Americans have a profile on a social media site. Research from the University of Illinois in 2011 showed that in the nation’s largest 75 cities, 87% of people used Twitter, and 87% had a Facebook. This number has been growing steadily over the past few years, and almost every person with internet access and some computer knowledge have at least some connection to a social network. Having so many people in one location is a godsend for marketing teams, and you couldn’t ask for a better setting for distributing product announcements, updates, and sales.
In 2012, businesses large and small really started using social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and others to help promote and spread product knowledge. 2012 was the year to go social, as everyone realized its benefits. Although many flocked to it, that doesn’t mean they were using it effectively. 2013 will hopefully show progress in both how businesses use social networks, and what features social networks offer knowing that they are now being used for business.
Even government agencies are starting to use social media as a way to communicate with their staff and the public. Many are finding these services to be a great way to receive feedback from the community on new services or problems within the city. Small and large communities are both taking advantage of it. The only hiccup governments face is that funding social networking jobs through public funds is frowned upon in a lot of areas still. This is an unfortunate view, as these jobs can be beneficial to the community. Some webmasters and other web designer positions for governments are being forced to run the social aspect for their local governments, in addition to their normal jobs.
You can’t stop the tide from coming in, and you can’t stop social media from growing and invading the workplace. It’s time to use it to your advantage. Get connected, and start reaping the benefits.