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Social Media

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This question was presented on a LinkedIn group that I subscribe to:

60% of Gen Y’ers think social media is discouraged in the workplace, yet 87% think leveraging social media can grow a brand and business according to recent Brill Street study. What’s your experience?

As a young adult who embraces social media, I believe that I have a valuable opinion on this matter.  Here was my response:

Most legacy media companies have yet to create an effective web presence/brand, or embrace the power of the internet, let alone create an effective social media presence. It seems like the management of said companies has remained stuck in old business models that are failing on a daily basis.

With that said, I do not believe the majority of Fortune 500 companies are correctly embracing the power, versatility, or cost effectiveness of social medial. Here are some examples:

  • CNN (and most other news agencies) auto Tweets news articles, providing the first 120 characters or so of an article, regardless of what it is, truncating the remaining portion of the article, and then linking to the full story. They should be providing a short summary and/or headline in addition to the link, not the first one and a half sentences.
  • The Sun Times has their main Twitter feed full of opinions and not news. Additionally, their website has pop-ups, or pop-unders, that annoy users. There is no cost to the consumer to switch to a site that does not annoy them, so The Sun Times is effectively scaring away users.
  • Celebrities and TV shows tweet meaningless garble that clutters my feed, making me un-follow them.
  • Employers should not base any hiring decisions based off of MySpace, Facebook, or personal blogs. Those have very little to do with how someone presents themselves in a work atmosphere. What they should be doing is utilizing the power of these tools to recruit young talent, not scare it away. It is this young talent that understands these tools, how they work, and how they can be leveraged effectively.
  • Employers should not block these tools from being used in the workplace. These are the communications tools used TODAY; embrace them and utilize their power to create a competitive advantage, not actively push against, or insult, employees and consumers who use them.
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