Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Social Media Has its Fans among Business Owners

A recent article in the Chief Executive Boards International monthly E-Newsletter generated not only a lot of clickthroughs but also some interesting responses. Upon learning that 76% of employers are blocking social media sites from employee access, we had some contrarian comments from business owners. With the growing belief that social media is useful for business-to-business and Industrial marketing, we're planning an All Member Forum on the topic as part of the CEBI Fall Summit, October 28-29, 2010.
Here are some of the comments we've recently received:

"We have used web filtering software for more than 5 years. It allows fairly granular control and customized permission levels for different user groups.  However, it has become increasingly problematic to block access to social media sites while some user groups are responsible for areas that overlap into social media (paid search, SEO, paid advertising, etc)."
This CEBI member also sent us a link to an interesting white paper:   "Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector"

Another writer was somewhat resigned to the inevitable:
"I have to wonder how effective all this blocking is now that many employees now have smartphones, iPhones, etc where they can check Facebook/email/other social networks at their leisure. As an employer I don't like having employees on Facebook all day, but I think it is kind of like smoking now. Smokers like to go have a cigarette for 5 minutes now and then, employees like to check Facebook for 5 minutes now and then. It is not an ideal situation, but it is today's reality."
Owners whose orientations lean more toward sales see some value in both Facebook and LinkedIn: 
"There are a lot of legitimate business reasons to use social networking sites. LinkedIn has become and indispensable tool for me and Facebook is helpful. Therefore I don't see how you can afford to block these. I would think monitoring the time spent on these sites and setting alerts when someone is on them for an extended period of time would be more beneficial. "
And another:
"We have actually gotten some business opportunities with our younger sales people while they have been online with friends. One time in particular at 11 pm a friend/future client needed a proposal from us first thing the next morning and mentioned it while chatting on Facebook with our salesperson!  Sales is changing and social networking is a communication method for the younger people to stay in touch - and close sales!"
What's your opinion? Please click Comments below and let others know what you're doing to effectively use social media in promoting your business.

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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

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