I think social media has contributed to the current culture of immediacy. People live busier lives with little time to spare, so they look for immediate news. Along with that, people want instant gratification. Simply said, we want information right away, we want it now. It’s difficult to resist the temptation of looking at my phone when I get a Facebook notification or a Twitter update. I check Instagram constantly, always trying to stay up-to-date with my friends’ activities. I think most of us are like that. After all, I don’t think FOMO (fear of missing out) is a false concept. It must be that enough of us feel that same way.
That being said, I think it would be unrealistic for social media usage to be prohibited in the workplace. I think employees should be allowed to use company time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media channels especially if they work in the PR field. I do, however, think that their should be set guidelines as to how much time employees can spend on these channels. I think it would be okay for them to check social media during lunch breaks and sporadically throughout the day. Social media usage should be limited to a few minutes or less at a time so it does not become a distraction or interference with work productivity. It’s up to each organization to develop a standard of social media usage.
With the growth of social media and its potential impact, many companies have developed social media guidelines or principles for their employees. Coca-Cola’s online social media principles remind employees that their use of social media platforms whether personal or professional can contribute to the company’s reputation…good or bad. That is because employees are an extension of the brand and their behavior can be traced back to Coca-Cola. It would be a shame for an employee to attach his or her inappropriate online behavior to the name of its employer. That is precisely what Coca-Cola does not want. People are brands in and of themselves, and if their brand (which social media helps shape) does not align with that of its employer, there can be conflict. Coca-Cola encourages its employees to use their best judgement when posting to social media because beyond their inner circle of friends, other employees, customers, or colleagues may come across their page. So, it’s important to be cautious and careful with regards to content and word choice in order to refrain from offending people.
Nordstrom’s social media employee guidelines are quite different than Coca-Cola’s. Nordstrom specifically warns employees that they must be approved to use the company’s logo, photos, and videos on social media. Nordstrom’s approach is more strict…and may I say harsh than Coca-Cola’s. I say this because it uses a lot of “Don’ts” and even specifies legal implications. It almost seems like a scare tactic to keep employees off of social media. I thought Coca-Cola’s vocabulary still emphasized the importance of smart social media activity without instilling fear. Coca-Cola’s guidelines give employees guidance and voice while Nordstrom’s are more restricting.
Until next time ❤