Social media : The business benefits

Generation Y are weaving social media into every aspect of their lives. Businesses that ignore this may cost them the talent they need to grow and succeed.

Before limiting access to social media, enterprises should consider the business value of social media versus the risk of allowing it. With the changing passion amongst young workers towards social media and its collaborative powers, business are likely to discover the benefits outweigh the risks, provided they find the right balance between acceptance and security.

The Downside of Social Media Access

Given the majority of the population's level of activity on Facebook - and the lack of distinction between personal and business use of social media sites, it stands to reason that some employees want to carry their Facebook use into the office. However, with people's work and private life merging, this can cause issues. Social media is hard to control and, companies need to apply a high value approach to their social media policies. But I feel that companies need to accept that there is a great deal standing in their way to prevent the use of social media and a lot of benefits that can actually come of implementing it.

The Upside of Social Media Access

Since social media is already so entrenched in the daily lives of young professionals and future workers, enterprises can no longer view it as a passing nuisance or a negative, disruptive force. In fact, companies that block or narrow access to social media likely will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. When enterprises allow social media use by the workforce, they are providing their employees with the tools and they need and fostering a culture to be more productive, innovative, and competitive.

Making Social Media Work in the Workplace

Fears around security and data loss are a leading reason why many businesses don't embrace social media, but these concerns are likely out of proportion with the true level of risk. In any case, risks can be mitigated through the application of technology and user controls. These controls don't inhibit workers from browsing social media and using it to connect with colleagues, customers and business partners.

Before limiting access to social media, enterprises should consider the business value of social media versus the risk of allowing it. With the changing passion amongst young workers towards social media and its collaborative powers, business are likely to discover the benefits outweigh the risks, provided they find the right balance between acceptance and security.

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