In today’s tweeting and Facebooking society it’s pretty much impossible to ban social media use among employees while on the clock. Face it: if you block it from company Internet access, they’ll either find ways around it or use their cell phones. The point is: people are going to check their Twitter and Facebook numerous times throughout their workday, whether the boss likes it (or even knows about it) or not.
So what can companies do to gain some sort of control over this matter? Allow it…but within certain specified guidelines that fit best within the organizational needs and expectations of the company. For example, many companies such as Best Buy and Coca-Cola have social media guidelines and training in place to ensure that when, as opposed to if, employees use social media that they do so in a way that doesn’t negatively impact their position within the company, as well as the company’s position within their respective market.
For a company like Best Buy, whose success one can argue largely relies on having an advantage over the competition, they would certainly want to monitor the information that anyone puts out regarding them so of course they’d keep close tabs on what their employees are saying.
However, for an organization such as the LA Times, they understand that their staff has their own voice and they genuinely want to allow them to express that but there still has to be some guidelines to ensure that the paper’s public image remains intact.
As long as there is a happy medium between the employees and company policymakers, I don’t see anything wrong with allowing employees to use social media.