It’s no question that social media has changed the way we work. Not only for our personal lives, but also for businesses and work. What most people don’t realise however, is that it’s also affected workplace mentality. The perception of social media as a tool for procrastination and being purely for personal use has completely changed and the approach to work – whether it’s recruitment, sales, marketing or even customer service has also seen a huge shift.
Previously, work and personal life had a clear distinction. Keeping your friends and colleagues separate was the norm, but after the introduction and growth of social media – particularly over the past couple of years, it’s now become a grey area. Most people have colleagues added as friends on Facebook or follow each other on Instagram, and Twitter has a big mix of individual and business accounts.
Not to mention, social media now has a firm place in the workplace. Using social media platforms to recruit has opened the spectrum of candidates and has created an affordable way to reach an audience that previously wouldn’t have been reached. It has also helped the recruitment process to become more efficient. Since the introduction of LinkedIn, both recruitment agencies and businesses have benefited as shortlisting has become a lot more organised and manageable. Rather than trying to make sure you collate and don’t miss any CVs in your inbox, having candidates on one platform and easily being able to view both their CVs and profiles in one space saves employees from digging around to get the information they need.
The approach to job hunting for individuals has also changed as a result. They no longer need to invest a significant amount of time to sit down with recruitment agencies and discuss all the specifications they’re looking for. Individuals can easily discover the opportunities themselves and be found online by employers.
Social media has also changed for sales staff. Now, personal information such as work, mobiles, email addresses and what companies people work for is much more visible. They no longer need to rely on cold calling to get through to potential customers as tools such as Sales Navigator on LinkedIn enables them to reach a new audience based on their company size, role or industry.
And it’s not only recruitment and sales that have changed. There’s now a firm place for social media in marketing as well. Being on Twitter or Facebook doesn’t meant that you’re procrastinating, as businesses have been quick to keep up with the industry changes and to stay present on social media. It’s become a big focus for customer services as well with social media becoming platforms for users to get an instant response and it’s completely changed how and when we respond to customers as a result. Previously, your only option would be to call up or email a business when you had an issue or query, only to wait a couple of hours for a response. Whereas now, with social media the demand has grown to such an extent that if customers complain on Facebook or particularly Twitter, it’s expected that you respond instantly or at least within a couple of minutes.
If managed well, social media can really help both businesses and individuals. However this depends upon how you limit the information you receive. With social media giving live updates on events and changes, it’s easy to get carried away. So to avoid finding yourself still scrolling through your newsfeed for hours on end, take advantage of push notifications and tailoring your content to keep you from leading astray! And I’m sure that this will continue to shape the way we work as it’s become crucial for businesses to adapt. Not only has social media changed and created job roles but it’s significantly shifted the way we view social media from a tool for procrastination to a platform to grow your brand.
Article written by Jason Downes, MD of Powwownow