Topic: Usage of social media in business communication and its pros and cons of using digital media platforms: Study based on Google
The business world has been changing drastically using the modern technologies in the workplace. It is very necessary to stay in communication with the employees and social media are using as the mode of communication between the employees and customers. According to Langer (2014), rather than just posting the information about services and products, the companies are using social media for the business communication with customers and with the employees. Social media engage the clients and social media communication is inexpensive. Through social media, business communication can be done in a very easy way as maximum employees and customers use social media platform on daily basis. The aim of the report is to highlight the usage of social media in business communication and explore the pros and cons of using the digital media platform. Google is one of the largest organisations in the world and Google innovates the social media concept along with using social media to track the employees’ performance and rewarding the employees as well.
Use social media networks in business communication
Role of social media in business communication is about establishing the conversation with the customers and the organisations. Companies can successfully use social media to drive the traffic to the website, drive sales and find the employees and to build the clients’ community. Social media can be used to make the marketing masterpiece to communicate with the customers so that the organisational sales and branding can be improved. According to Bolton et al., (2013), social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn help to make more connections for them by sharing the details. The organisations can also use the social media sites to have the own broadcast network and for doing the social media campaigns. In the previous time, the customers take time to share the experiences about the products and services, however, in recent time, the people can share their views about the products or the campaigning of the companies on social media in no time. Through the social media, the businesses can have the chance to respond to the customers and acknowledge the complaints. In addition, the business organisations use social media platforms as building the brand image as sometimes the companies allow the employees to post the blogs to appear the companies more compassionate and likeable. Social media help the customers to share their concerns about the companies as in Twitter and Facebook, the businesses are never closed. In recent time, 68% of adults use social media in 2018, compared to 7% in the year 2005 (Youtu.be, 2018). Maximum numbers of people use a mobile device to access the social media and in 2017, almost 2 million businesses use Facebook advertising for promotions of the services and products.
The businesses use social media to communicate with the customers as the social media give lower costs for posting advertisements and social media can hit the targeted customers. The companies in recent time are using social media analytics (Leonardi, Huysman & Steinfield, 2013) as these provide real-time performance analysis of the advertisements. On the other side, the companies can use social media for providing training and education to the employees by sharing video links. Some of the companies use social media intranet software which is useful for the companies in establishing communication. Zoho and Bitrix24 are such types of cloud software and SaaS application based platform used by the companies so that the companies can use for communication with the employees.
Advantages of using social media in business communication
The US-based companies do not allow the employees to use social media platforms in the workplace; however, some of the large organisations like Mayo Clinic, USAA and Deloitte allow the employees to use the social media platform to represent their customers' issues, brand online and creating online content. The companies can use the social media platform to communicate with the employees so that they can unlock the expertise and knowledge of the employees. The management will get to know about the employees' social networks, internal blogs and forums which can provide the valuable information about the companies. According to Majchrzak et al., (2013), social media platforms help the employees to unleash the innovation of diverse thinking and the creativity of the employees. The employees can conduct the virtual brainstorm in the social media and these platforms generate leads and revenues by sharing the marketing message. The employees can pass the message which can assist the employees to advocate the services so that it can boost the bottom line as well.
Social media increases the communication speed, efficiency and agility inside the workplace and social media reduce the chance of misinformation shared by the management. The management can easily let the employees know during the period of crisis (Treem & Leonardi, 2013). Social media platform can help the employees to strengthen the culture of the workplace and the employees can with other employees’ interests and talents so that they can make stronger workplace relationships. Most importantly, the companies can share the information and notice through social media which can eliminate the global and regional communication barriers (Vaast & Kaganer, 2013). Social media communication helps to break the silos among the department, time zones and borders. In addition, millennial communicate through social media platforms and this practice helps to recruit and retain top talents. Most importantly, social media reinforce the values, mission and strategies of the organisation which provide endless advantages and motivation to the employees and the management to create creative and fresh ways.
Challenges of using social media in business communication
Through social media, the employees can share the confidential information and the organisational secret may get leaked. Therefore, the management must take preventive measure to stop the mistreating of the data and information. Social media accounts of the employees may get hacked and the secret information of the organisation might be in trouble. According to Williams et al., (2015), the organisation needs to commit resources to control the social media presence and produce the new contact. The organisation needs to respond to the feedback from the employees and the customers; therefore, the management needs to have accurate resources to handle the matter. Therefore, the organisation can make the PR team and the training of the staffs is needed. The organisation needs to recruit new staffs so that they can manage the social media for the customers (Swani et al., 2017). The management needs to answer the queries of the employees and the organisations can invest in paid advertising. The management needs resources so that they can create the image or video for content. In addition, the management needs to evaluate the social media success on the basis of quantifying the data on Return-on-Investment in terms of sales online and in the training improvement of the employees. ROI can be calculated by the management and there are some less tangible advantages of social media communication. The companies can improve the communication in both levels, employees and with customers (Jussila, Kärkkäinen & Aramo-Immonen, 2014). The brand awareness of the organisation can be improved and the organisation can use social media analytics to understand the reputation, brand awareness and customers’ interaction with the company.
Social media platforms need daily monitoring and the actors manage social media platform can provide benefits only. The management can use social ineffectively. Social media network can be used to push the sales without just engaging the customers and to answer the negative feedback. As opined by Cardon & Marshall (2015), the organisations have greater exposure in online platform through social media risks are associated with information leaking, negative feedback and harassment or bullying of the employees.
Use of social media in Google workplace as part of business communication
Google is a tech giant and it is the market leader as Search Engine providing the most up to date and relevant information to the users. Google uses an algorithm and it assists in being tweaked and updated. Google uses the right set of complex algorithm to get the right links. The popular links come at first and Google also gives the social media links to find the content as well (Fuchs, 2017). Google keeps employees happy and productive. Google provides the employee's pool table, the right amount of perks and bowling alleys, gym membership and free food. Not only that, the communication of the employees is done through the intranet social media within the workplace. Communication inside the workplace and among the employees is done through Google+ and the technologically advanced Google intranet software. Google management thinks that lateral thinking, as well as the ability to communicate with the employees, is the crucial skill of the employees within the organisation (Kernbach, Eppler & Bresciani, 2015). Google thinks that employees must be creative as entrepreneurs and the employees must share the communication like open culture workplace. Communication is very important as Google workplace is the conjunction of technology, science, engineering and mathematics.
Google allows the employees to use social media in the workplace like other modern technologies so that the employees can connect with their family and friends' environment. Social media allows the employees to take a mental break from the daily monotony and these types of periodic break help the employees to come up with fresh energy. As mentioned by Sunstein (2018), 34% of the employees use social media in the workplace to take a mental break and 26% of the employees use social media to connect with friends and family. Cloud-based social networking sites help the employees to communicate effectively beyond the phones and emails. Google use these platforms to interact with the employees and these allow the conversation to be open to all employees (Killian & McManus, 2015). Most importantly, social media platforms provide Google with an analysis of employees' communication and performance along with trends. Using the social media, the management of Google fosters learning, self-development and discovery.
Management’s role in using social media in the workplace
Google is a technologically developed organisation and Google itself has social networking platforms like Hangouts and Google+. Google needs to invest in social media as the management has to recognise the value of the social media communication in the workplace (Schivinski & Dabrowski, 2016). Google needs to act like a social media platform is a real-life networking event to respond, listen, provide conversation and monitor the activities of the people. Google management can provide content and the employees can inject personality on the social media page. For Google, the social media communication strategies must be two; one is for the clients and another is for the employees.
Google must start blogging as the blog is an excellent platform to take this as a business communication strategy. The blog provides effective communication with the clients and it bypasses the media to share insights into the business. Google can play the role of the tech-industry expert and establishes the relationship with the clientele. The blogging content of Google must be related to the technology with quality to engage the readers.
Workplace-based intranet social media can improve the networking of the employees as the fellow employees will get to know about other employees and their qualities and expertise. Attending network can provide advantages to build up the new clientele make contact and make new connections for growth. Google management can share their voice through intranet social media for announcing any events or delivering any notice.
Google must understand the needs of IT and staffing to implement the social media platform as it opens the company outside the firewall. Google needs to make sure to protect the information and data from the social media platform. The PR team of Google needs to implement social media policy and activity from the top down.
In recent time, communication in the workplace happens through online, email, Skype, Facebook and cloud-based software. Using these communication channels for means of connecting with the employees and clients should be done in right pace and order to be effective. For a large organisation like Google, social media channels would be most effective for business communication as headquarter can easily communicate with regional offices and different location based offices easily using social media communication tools. In addition, allowing employees to use social media at the workplace opens up workplace culture and it is about building a relationship with employees and trusting them.
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