Posts Tagged ‘cnn’

Is using Social Media an impediment to your Organization?

by Himanshu Jhamb on February 8, 2010

Au Contraire, it can lead to improved productivity and branding.

First and foremost, let’s get one thing clear about Social Media. It is not just a tool, or a tactic or even a strategy. It is simply a channel for having online conversations. Depending on if you know and intend to use it purposefully or not, it can increase productivity… or not. There are two kinds of stances organizations that do not believe in the power of Social Media take when it comes to using Facebook or Twitter, at work.

  1. Employees will be distracted. They’ll spend too much time on these sites and it will be an impediment to the actual work. So, they should not have access to these at work.
  2. Social Media is not useful at all. I don’t want to know when someone is going grocery shopping or cleaning his car.

The issue with the first stance is simply not about social media. It is about ethics. Just like you shouldn’t be browsing the internet for 7 hours a day in your 8 hour workday and you shouldn’t be chatting on the phone about your favorite football team with your buddy for the better part of your workday, you shouldn’t be using the different social media channels for extended periods of time. Blocking the websites wouldn’t do a lot of good if the people in your organization are looking to spend the majority of their working hours elsewhere. You might want to look at “Why are they distracted”? more than “What distracts them”?

The issue with the second stance is simply ignorance and a fixed way of thinking about social media. There are some Social Media Rockstars who have branded themselves impeccably using the various social media channels. It does not mean they have never got subjected to online conversations about grocery shopping from other folks. It simply means they have been participating and contributing to the social media space purposefully and with an open mind. They do not allow themselves to be led by popular opinion. They are in the department of changing the popular opinion… or even being a source of a new one! There is a reason why companies like CNN, BestBuy, Dell and JetBlue continue using Twitter and the reason is simply that were ready to experiment and they’ve found a way to make it work for whatever it is that they are after. Contrary to popular belief, these companies not only use Twitter as a channel to market their offers but also to have online conversations with their customers which, mind you, involves listening to the customer’s concerns and then engaging with them by taking action to best take care of them.

Regardless of your organization’s stance on Social Media, Social Media is here to stay. It’s not any different from any new practice or technology that is invented. About 30 years ago or so, with the advent of computers, we got a real taste of what machines can do from a small microchip. About 20 years ago or so, we got a taste of what connectivity means with the advent of the internet. Perhaps it’s time for organizations to give up their rigidity on Social Media and leap into this new decade with a sense of exploration and genuine intrigue to see what conversing online means with the advent of this dangerous opportunity (Social Media).

Social Media: A dangerous Opportunity!

by Himanshu Jhamb on September 1, 2009

social media dangerousNowadays, the web is full of success stories on Social Media. Indeed, the arrival (and the acceptance) of Social Media has opened the gates to many opportunities: enabling individuals and communities to brand themselves being perhaps one of the biggest. However, as is the case with every opportunity, it has the potential downside, too. The downside, if not paid attention to, can turn this opportunity on its head into a “dangerous” one.

Here are two fundamental questions that you must strive to answer, before you can turn any new tool into an opportunity for yourself.

1. What is my purpose of using it?
2. How do I use it effectively to get the outcome that I am after?

Take, for example, using a knife for the first time. You need to have a concern of cutting/chopping something before even thinking about using it. Without that, you are simply wasting your time (might I add, dangerously) if you’re running around with it. Then, you need to learn how to use it effectively – if you don’t, it is equally dangerous as you might end up slicing and dicing your fingers (didn’t mean to go to this extreme… but, you get the point!) instead of what you intended to use it for.

Social Media can be like a knife. You need to know what is your purpose behind using it first because, if you do not have a clear purpose, then you’ll end up squandering away the other opportunities in your life that you could have availed in the time you’re spending dabbling with Social Media.

You also need to learn to use it effectively… without that, you are playing with a dangerous tool.

I recently read a great CNN post on How Social Media can hurt your career… and though I loved the examples the author shared in there (some of them were downright scary), I felt the title of the post would’ve better served the content had it been “How you can hurt your career through Social Media” instead of “How Social Media can hurt your career“. You see, there is a subtle difference if I say it like that because the conversation you have with yourself on Social Media after reading the former title is on the lines of “Oh! I better learn how to use this properly” instead of “Oh! Social Media is too dangerous… I better stop using it”, which is what comes forth after reading the latter. Yes, there is a very subtle difference between the two but clearly, the former opens the possibilities of “getting better” at it and the latter closes the possibilities by instilling an unfounded fear in the reader.

Getting good at leveraging the opportunity that Social Media is, is a skill that beckons to be learnt and exploited to the maximum potential. For this is how your level of engagement will start reaping you the maximum returns… and you can be assured that you are playing on the “Safe” side of this dangerous opportunity!