Jane Hart is spearheading an effort to collect information on why you should NOT ban social media in your organization. Below, my rebuttals to the reasons most commonly given by organizations to keep social media out.
Social media is a fad.
It's about controlling the message.
Employees will goof off.
You're right. Staff WILL goof off. But here's something great about social media that I don't think you've realized. Did you know with social media you can actually monitor goofing off even BETTER? I can't tell if you played solitaire on your laptop unless I actually catch you doing it. But I CAN tell if you uploaded your vacation photos or played Farmville on Facebook during work hours. I don't know if you spent an hour on the phone to your sister. But I CAN see if you were tweeting about lunch and your favorite episode of Glee when you were supposed to be working on that report. See? Social media is actually your greatest dream--documented proof of all the ways your staff is screwing around! The faster you get them on there, the quicker you'll be able to prove what you've suspected all along!
Social Media is a time waster.
Social media has no business purpose.
The last time I checked, business was about interacting with customers and getting work done efficiently and effectively. Social media can help you do both. Social media is a tool, like a phone or a laptop. And, like a phone or a laptop, it can be used for personal or business-related reasons. If you don't see the business purpose behind its use, then you need to do a little more reading.
Employees can't be trusted.
You are SO right here. Employees simply cannot be trusted. If you aren't careful, they might run off and do something crazy like set up a Twitter account that in a few short months changes your company's image from a joke to a customer service case study in excellence. Better that they play solitaire on their company-approved laptop. At least you know what they're up to.
Don't cave into the demands of the millennials.
Your teams already share knowledge effectively.
You'll get viruses.
Your competition isn't using it, so why should you?