The Misplaced Fear Of Social In Business
Irving Wladawsky-Berger has put together a good review of several studies and reports concerning business use of social networks:
Mr Wladawsky-Berger has a lot of experience with the business use of social networks from his long career as a senior executive at IBM. The company was one of the first to embrace blogging and social networks.
He discusses fears that businesses have regarding their employees broadcasting inappropriate comments. He points out:
"Employees already have access to social networks through their personal PCs and mobile devices, so they need not wait for corporate sanctioned channels should they wish to post inappropriate comments. Better to deal with the issue directly, by providing guidance to employees on the proper use of social networks."
Several years ago IBM put together an excellent guide for employees: IBM Social Computing Guidelines.
Another concern companies have with social networks in business, is losing control over their employees, "who now have tools that enable them to easily collaborate with colleagues and friends inside and outside the company."
But, "such individual and community empowerment is precisely the key value of social networks."