Companies are facing the challenge on how to balance their staff’s right to use social media networks at work for business purposes, which might increase the company revenue and help build the company image, in opposition to staff using social media for personal purposes.
Social media comes with various opportunities for businesses to improve their brand recognition and the ability to connect with consumers, enabling easy communication, sharing of information and market research on non-formal platforms, allowing companies and consumers to build a better relationship.
According to a second quarter report by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, a total of 3,1 billion megabytes of data were consumed, representing a 15,8% increase in data consumption from 2,7 billion megabytes recorded in the previous quarter.
All the mobile operators registered an increase in data usage. The rise in social media has contributed to the increasing data and internet usage.
The introduction of social media bundles, such as WhatsApp and Facebook by operators, has driven the popularity and usage of these social networks in the country with WhatsApp and Facebook accounting for 44,2% and 1,8% respectively of total Internet and data usage, presenting a great opportunity for corporations and businesses to use social media to benefit themselves and consumers by offering special promotions, product information technical support and customer service since most consumers have access to these site via mobile phones or other Internet portable devices.
Social media can be used to build a company’s image or at times break it.
People have gone to a point of writing controversial statements or breaking news claiming to be from a certain company and the message swiftly spreads across the country, defaming the mentioned company, and the number of people who see and share the false statement is double than the ones who see and share the corrected statement on social
Social media is now enveloping, in our world, with existing social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WhatsApp groups among others, expanding, it has become a game changer in the way of communication as it provides instant ways of sharing information, even though the information is unreliable and untrustworthy
However, social media has the ability to harm employees’ productivity and creativity, as it is difficult to regulate how individuals are going to be using their connectivity access.
Workers who use social media for work-related purposes might find it difficult to properly concentrate on their duties, as there is the temptation of checking and peering trending updates being posted or shared on their personal Facebook pages or WhatsApp groups.
It is necessary for employees to self-regulate by focusing on what they are supposed to do to improve company productivity and to prioritise their daily task in order to accomplish great results and a better working environment with their employer.
There is need for employer to have, maintain and manage a fairly written social media policy in favour of both employee and employer.
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