Dave Thomas

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Don’t Let Social Media Ruin Your Small Business

Dave Thomas

April 27, 2016

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What level of comfort do you have in allowing employees to use social media on the job?

Some small business owners are perfectly comfortable letting their staff use social networking sites while at work. Others, meantime, are not so comfortable.

No matter where you fall in this discussion, make sure you are educated on the pros and cons of using social media for your team.

Should Employees Get More Social?

In your decision to allow or not allow employees the use of social media at work, keep the pros and cons in mind at all times.

On the plus side:

  • More promotions – When permitting employees to use social media on the job, you are helping promote your own brand. While you likely have a person or persons responsible for such promotions, letting some others in the company do their fair share helps too. The most important facet here is making sure everyone is on the same page. You don’t want three members of your team all share, tweet out the same thing etc. Not only is it redundant, but it comes across as looking unorganized in the minds of many consumers. Doing all you can to promote your brand on social networking sites allows your product or service to get as much eye attention as possible. In the end, that is a winning formula for success;

  • Better timing – Many companies will have essentially “set times” of the day that they will post items to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. With multiple people on your team posting, you can hit the social media sites with numerous promotions for your brand, the industry you are in etc. As mentioned earlier, just make sure such efforts are coordinated and not messy. If you have multiple shifts in your office, posting, morning, noon and night can prove beneficial to your brand;

  • Different perspectives – Having a number of your employees share and tweet instead of one central figure allows for the sharing of different perspectives. With only one person in charge of social media, you’re pretty much relying on their perspective to determine what is and is not important to share on social networking sites. Allowing multiple employees to post gives you various perspectives, something that can help your brand in the eyes of consumers.

On the down side:

  • More potential threats – As great as social media can be for small business owners, there is of course a dark side to it. Cyber-criminals use social media to direct attacks against businesses, oftentimes posing as someone they are not. In the event you have one of your employees (inexperienced against the threats cyber-criminals pose to businesses) on social media, they could accidentally download something they think is safe. Instead, they’ve just installed malware on their computer, viruses that can easily be passed around the office. No matter what person or persons in your employ use social media, make sure they are educated to look for the signs of potential malware threats;

  • Getting away from their main duties – It is rather easy for people (employees included) to get addicted to social media rather quickly. Just stop for a moment and look to see how many people are thought to be using sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others worldwide. When you do, you will see the numbers are rather staggering. Some of your workers may find themselves a bit too fixated on social media during the day. When that happens, the real important work of your business could be put on the backburner. If that occurs, clients will undoubtedly not be happy. So as to keep a happy medium with social media in the office, allow employees (if they so choose and want to) time during breaks or even a “social media break or two” during the course of the workday. This way, the important tasks that must get done will not be pushed to the side due to too much time surfing social sites.

While social media definitely has advantages for your small business, always be careful not to let it actually ruin your small business.


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