Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Some social media stats to chew on

Last week, Facebook announced that there are more than 1 billion people using Facebook actively each month. Think about that number for a second. It means that 1 out of every 7 people on Earth are active on Facebook. When you consider the vastness of our planet and the diversity of its social-economics, that number is staggering.

Of course, a number is nothing more than a number. What does that number mean to you, as an employer? It means that most of your employees are on Facebook (and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and YouTube, and Pinterest, and blogs, and, well, you get the point).

It also means that a lot of your employees will get themselves in trouble on social media. IIndeed, according to a recent survey published by Blogging4Jobs, 46% of company leaders believe that their employees will misuse social media and other workplace technology.

Some companies will react to this statistic by turning off the switch in their businesses—blocking social media websites and issuing policies prohibiting their access by employees at work. If you are inclined to go that route, consider these statistics, which come, via TLNT, from the SilkRoad Social Media and Workplace 2012 Report:

  • Only 43 percent of employees responding to the survey report working in companies in which social media access was completely open in the workplace.
  • Yet, 60 percent say that they check social media multiple times throughout the day on their mobile devices, with 75 percent checking it at least once a day or more.
In other words, unless you require that your employees check their mobile devices at the door (and suffer the anarchy that would likely ensue) it is impossible to prohibit employees from accessing personal social media accounts during the workday. And, if its impossible to monitor or enforce a policy, why have it in the first place?