Discuss about the Ineffective Use Of Social Media In Business.
Social media has increasingly garnered immense attention within the business as an effective tool for internal communication. Social media has been widely accepted by businesses to communicate with their external stakeholder and establish a positive brand image (Tuten & Solomon, 2017). However, this report throws light on how social media can be used to communicate with internal stakeholders of the brand. Leading businesses have adopted social media to conduct internal communications in a transparent manner. There are two important factors that are attributed to the success of social media. These two factors include globalization and advent of technology. Individuals are becoming increasingly tech savvy and have been accepting these new tools of communication within and outside the business. Owing to globalization, organizations have spread to different parts of the globe (Crane & Matten, 2016). This has given birth to virtual teams and hence newer forms of communication.
The organization in the case is also a multinational firm with its base in Australia but branches across different countries. Therefore, it is even more important for the organization to understand the need as well as the efficacy of social media use within the business. Ineffective use of the same can lead to various issues such as lack of transparency, lack of trust, miscommunication, lack of coordination, demotivated employees and a negative work place environment. Social media helps employees in coordinating effectively (Leonardi et. al., 2013). It can be used to plan meetings, share files, provide trainings and encourage communication via discussions.
There are various steps that organizations take in order to encourage the use of social media in the business and ensure that this use is effective in terms of its productivity and efficacy. Few recommendations for ensuring productive social media use in the organization are shared in the next part of the report.
The company given in the case study is currently facing severe issues regarding the inefficiency of social media use in the business. Social media usage can be encouraged within the business by the seniors of the organization. The following strategies can be adopted by organizations to ensure that employees effectively participate in communicating through social media.
Trainings through wikis
Wikis are social programs that allow users to cumulatively form content that would be available to the selected audience. Wikis can be used as a source of learning for employees (Naismith et. al., 2011). The referred organization can begin social media usage by creating wikis regarding the basics of the business. These wikis can be shared within the organization and every employee can refer to these wikis as a form of learning. A dedicated person from every department must ensure that all the important information of the department must be shared through wikis and made available to the entire organization. Every time a team completes a specific project successfully, a wiki could be written about the same as a source of learning for other employees.
This strategy would be explicitly beneficial for new employees who do not possess sufficient knowledge about the business but need to learn. Once an employee comes on board, a link of official wikis could be shared with the employee who can then learn all the aspects of the business that are important in terms of the defined role.
Social media communities
Facebook and Twitter allow users to form formal and informal communities that can be joined by a select group of people. These communities can be used to schedule meetings, share files, encourage internal discussions and provide feedbacks (Laroche et. al., 2012). All the shared files can be accessed and updated by employees through these platforms. In order to encourage the use of social media, the leaders of the business must lead by example and ensure that certain important discussion take place through social media only. For this particular organization, social media communities would be extensively beneficial as employees from different parts of the world can participate in the discussions as per their time schedules.
Social media communities also allow employees to feel like a part of a social group. This aims to fulfill the social needs of employees which are a source of motivation as per Maslow’s theory of needs (Anderson, 2014). Being a part of official communities helps employees in developing an increased sense of ownership towards the business. Increased sense of ownership leads to improved team coordination and hence better performance in the long run (Ruck & Welch, 2012).
Social media usage within the business is a tool that can be used to engage employees in order to promote the use of the same. The human resource department of the business must curate ideas and strategies to engage employees on social media through various activities. Once employees feel engaged, they would be motivated to effectively use social media for their communications. Internal voting, sampling and other polls could be conducted through social media.
Once employees are engaged enough to participate in social media discussions, the overall working atmosphere of the organization improves and leads to higher levels of motivation within the business. To ensure effective use of social media in the business, employees should be encouraged to engage with the business and participate in communication through social media.
The organization must encourage employees to write blogs and share different experiences. These blogs could be shared to all the employees via social media. This would help employees in sharing knowledge and getting to know each other better (Guffey & Loewy, 2012). Employees should also be encouraged to post comments on blogs in order to encourage the overall use of blogs. Having a large collection of blogs also creates a knowledge base that can be referred at any time by different employees. Blogs promote open discussion and increased transparency in the internal communication process of the business. They can be used to ensure that employees participate in business discussions and feel free to express their opinions. This form of encouragement also helps employees remain motivated.
Anderson, A. (2014). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The Prairie Light Review, 36(2), 7.
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, D. (2012). Essentials of business communication. Cengage Learning.
Laroche, M., Habibi, M. R., Richard, M. O., & Sankaranarayanan, R. (2012). The effects of social media based brand communities on brand community markers, value creation practices, brand trust and brand loyalty. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(5), 1755-1767.
Leonardi, P. M., Huysman, M., & Steinfield, C. (2013). Enterprise social media: Definition, history, and prospects for the study of social technologies in organizations. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Management, 19(1), 1-19.
Naismith, L., Lee, B. H., & Pilkington, R. M. (2011). Collaborative learning with a wiki: Differences in perceived usefulness in two contexts of use. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(3), 228-242.
Ruck, K., & Welch, M. (2012). Valuing internal communication; management and employee perspectives. Public Relations Review, 38(2), 294-302.
Tuten, T. L., & Solomon, M. R. (2017). Social media marketing. Sage. United Kingdom.