Social media has an interesting place in the business world, sitting somewhere between incredibly helpful and downright dangerous for your organization. It’s important that you consider how your business is affected by social media so that you can both leverage it to your advantage and minimize the risks associated with it.
Many of the popular social media platforms are being used in the world of business, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and even other apps like Snapchat and Instagram--all of which have their own distinct uses. However, they all have considerable benefits and risks that extend beyond the individual platforms. Here are some of the benefits that social media can pose for your organization.
The primary benefit associated with social media is right in the name--it’s social. You provide your business with exposure across the Internet, meaning that your organization is being seen by prospective clients. On the other hand, you’re also being seen by competitors, who might choose to use the information that they see as a blueprint toward one-upping your organization’s outreach efforts. Either way, the point stands that you’re connecting with potential buyers or customers, which is a valuable way to make your organization known.
Despite the benefits, there are many risks associated with social media networks. Among the most important are security and productivity, both of which could derail operations as you know them.
- Security: When you sign your organization up for a social media network, you’re providing another outlet for a hacking attack. If your business has a website, you’re aware of the online threats that could pose a threat for your business. Many of the same threats, including password and username theft, can become a problem for organizations that aren’t careful. Even spam can be an issue, as you might be dealing with suspicious messages from “interested buyers.” The best way to stay safe while using social media for business purposes is to understand best practices. Don’t accept connections to suspicious individuals or organizations, and ensure that any passwords or usernames are as complex as can be.
- Productivity: In regards to employee productivity, your organization could face down a considerable loss of work quality or quantity as a result of personal social media use during work hours. What this means is that your employees might be too busy browsing cat videos or sharing memes with each other to focus on their work. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all of your hard-working employees, but all it takes is a few to ruin a good thing for everyone. Therefore, you need to take measures to keep employees from wasting time on social media when they are supposed to be working.
A content filtering solution as part of a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution can keep employees from wasting time on social media or potentially dangerous websites on a per-user basis. This can keep problem employees from visiting these sites while also maintaining access for your marketing team and employees who can manage the access properly. To learn more, reach out to Computerware at (703) 821-8200.