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04 Jun 2010

Social Media is Not Just for Your Marketing Manager

social media word cloud

Your company has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and you have made your LinkedIn page. Since starting, you have gained a pretty good following of your close friends and clients on all three networks. Now what?

For the last few years there has been an ongoing debate about whether social media websites should be allowed to be accessed at work. A lot of places ban websites like Facebook and Twitter, in fear that their employees will spend too much time using social media instead of doing their work. In reality, companies should be embracing social media, and their employees time on it. By allowing your employees to spend a small amount of time on social media each week, your business can benefit tremendously. Here are five reasons why:
1. No one knows your company better than your own employees.
Each employee should have the industry knowledge to speak intelligently about your company from the perspective of their respective trades. Your marketing manager more than likely has an extensive marketing background but may not be fully in the know on every single one of the services you offer. While they can provide the basic information about those services, they may not always be able to go into the details that perspective leads may look for. Letting your employees spend a few minutes a week on Facebook and Twitter, talking more indepth about those specialties will allow those possible leads to get a little more information and turn into a new client.
2. The purpose of social media is to allow people to engage and interact with one another.
Your employees can also learn a lot about their own speciality by getting involved in social media. There are plenty of niche social media websites out there, but even on the major social media websites you can find groups of people who share the same specialities by doing a simple search. They will come across others who work in the same field, and now have the ability to ask questions to someone they might not have been able to contact any other way. This person could offer an entirely new perspecive on the way things are done. Your employees are now able to learn about the way other people do it. Who knows? There may be a new technology out there that hadn’t made it to your desk yet. 
3. Most of your employees have friends, and their friends have friends…
It is great that you have started to build a following with some of your clients and close firends, but it is time to expand people’s knowledge of your brand. Your clients already know who you are and how you work. Having just your clients following you on social media is not going to help you generate new leads, just continue with the current ones.
By encouraging your employees to talk about your brand through social media, you are encouraging them to tell their friends who might not know too much about each of the company’s specialites. These friends or other followers could potentially produce new leads as they learn more.
4. You never know who might be watching.
If you run a company that relies on donations (whether it be food, money, or something else) it cannot hurt to have your employees mention your company on social media. Their friends and family who follow them may be able to share the information with their own friends and family. Larger donations tend to result from “knowing the right people”, you never know who may get word of your company.
5. New opportunities for your employees and the company.
Getting individual employees involved in social media can lead to other opportunities for your company as well. As Lisa Barone mentions in her post How to Build a Brand Working for Someone Else she mentions that allowing individuals to build their brand under a company’s name “will allow you [in our case, the employee] to bring more value through increased brand awareness, speaking opportunities, press mentions, and a larger network that the whole company will be able to utilize.” People inside and outside of the industry will start to not only reconize your employees name but they will relate them back to your company.
In getting your company on social media you have begun to take charge of what is being said about your brand. Encourage your employees to continue the conversation you started.
Do you allow your employees to use social media? How has it benefited your company? 
About the Author
Kristin Page is a project manager for Golden Technologies with a special interest in social media and internet marketing. She blogs often on the Golden Tech Blog and can be found on Twitter @kristypage.