Social media in the workplace

Here, Jason Downes, MD at, tells us how to maintain a social media presence in the office.

Social media has fundamentally changed the way we work and the way our work lives and personal lives cross over. A couple of years ago, there was a clear line between what was work and what was personal, but now it’s a grey area.

Work colleagues become friends on Facebook, people use Twitter for personal use, work or both, and there’s LinkedIn, an entire social media platform for work.

But a major misconception is that social media only drives us to distraction. On the contrary, with live updates on news and events, we now consume information at a pace much faster than ever before. It’s at the tips of our fingers and accessible through almost any device.

Instant access

You don’t need to get your hands on a printed version of a newspaper to find out what’s going on because Twitter or your news app will be sending you instant notifications on content tailored specifically to you.

Particularly for job hunting, social media has been crucial for people looking for work since LinkedIn was introduced. You don’t need to go through a recruiting agency and sit down with them to determine exactly what you’re looking for because the likes of LinkedIn and job listing companies help you quickly filter through your wants and needs and present you with a number of options that suit your requirements.

So rather than countless emails going back and forth between workers and recruiters over specific details, social media has created that visibility so job specs are readily available for you to read and apply for.

Not to mention, this has also benefited recruiters and businesses looking to hire as well. Posting on social media platforms is an effective way to spread the word and find candidates that you might not have reached before.

By widening the pool of candidates and having results on one platform, shortlisting also becomes easier than trying to make sure CV’s don’t get lost amongst your inbox folder.

Although social media can help you become more efficient in consuming information and recruiting, it is easy to get distracted because of the endless amount of information available.

Be careful of your time

What starts off as a quick scroll through your newsfeed, can easily turn into countless hours of wasted time if you’re not careful. It also depends on your job role as well.

If you work in PR or social media, then naturally, it requires you to spend more time on multiple social media platforms, but if you’re in sales then LinkedIn is probably the only appropriate platform for you to be on.

If employees are smart about the way they use it, then it can be an affordable way and efficient way to spread their message. Most platforms allow you to schedule posts, so dedicating an hour or so to schedule everything in and turning on mobile and desktop notifications will help you stay responsive and build your brand.

Its all down to trust

From a manager’s perspective, it should come down to trust. If work is getting done on time and KPI’s are being hit, then occasionally using social media platforms won’t do any harm – especially because it’s quick and easy to digest and an efficient way to take a break from work.

We can’t expect our employees to be productive every minute of the day, so breaks are healthy, especially if they’re using their time wisely.

So social media has been crucial for positively changing the pace at which we receive information and employees, employers and recruiters alike have been able to become more efficient in their roles if they limit where, when and how they receive the information.

And although our work lives and personal lives have more crossover than ever before, it’s helped us evolve the way we work and consume information.

Jason Downes is managing director of

Further reading on social media

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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