Sunday, May 3, 2009

Workers On Twitter and Facebook

Internet trends can change faster than the weather in any given state. But like it or not, Twitter and Facebook are the hot place to be. Some birding companies realize that a value is there. If companies like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts didn't think a social networking site like Twitter was worthwhile, would they waste time with having profiles and regular updates? Take a look at the number of followers they have--that's how many people have signed up to receive updates from them--their followers have said, "Yes, I would like to know what you have going on."

Some birding companies you can find on Twitter include a Wild Birds Unlimited in Upstate New York, a bird artist called Birdorable who sells bird t-shirts, mugs, and magnets, and a company called BirdHouse Outlet trying to get their online retail shop some business.

If you as a store manager or owner are not comfortable delving into the world of social media, look at your employees. Are any of them already plugged into the online world? Consider recruiting them to help you get your company message out. If they are already familiar with it, understand it, and enjoy doing it, why not tap that resource?

Companies are seeing the value of younger employees working on the Internet, even while engaging in personal use on the job. For many young people, it's how they interact with the world. Consider this article from The Salt Lake Tribune . It describes Marty Kotis, who owns a real estate development firm in Greensboro, N.C. He discovered on the company's monthly wireless bill, that staffers were racking up the charges with text messages. One employee alone had 2,500 messages, while two others had 800 and 700. But, he didn't reprimand the employees, because he realized that the ones with the highest text messages were also the ones who were the best at their jobs and worked extra hours.

Kotis noted that activities like texting and using Facebook and Twitter are more likely to be done by younger staffers, who use these tools to communicate with the entire world. That means they're probably using those communication channels for work, too. Kotis said one of his employees "pretty much did a deal through text."

Read the full article here, it's enlightening and also a realization that social media is not just something for staff to waste time on (although, that's not to say some staff will not abuse it on the job). But rather than fearing it and keep staff away from Twitter and Facebook, harness that power to your company's advantage.

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