by Emily Woodcock, Senior Assistant, INALJ Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Facebook and Twitter in the Workplace
Many different organizations including libraries now have Facebook and Twitter accounts that are used on a regular basis. Below is a list of pros and cons to using Facebook and Twitter in the workplace. I currently work at small academic library that uses both Facebook and Twitter accounts.
• Creating an online presence: through Facebook and Twitter your organization is creating a presence that may be seen more often then the main website. If people want a large amount of information about an organization they will visit the website, where as, on social media they can read a small amount of information at a time about the organization.
• Marketing: if an organization puts time and effort into it Facebook and Twitter can be used for marketing. People will not have to come into your library to learn about a new and interesting display; instead they will come knowing that the display is there. The same can be done to promote events.
• Reaching people in a different way: through Facebook and Twitter, users can learn information about your organization without physically being at the organization or on their website.
• Reaching a younger population: through social media, information about your organization may be able to a younger population than it was previously able to. The organization may also be able to draw in younger employees that have grown up using Facebook and Twitter.
• The ability to easily support other organizations: your organization can easily support others by following them and sharing/retweeting interesting updates. Libraries supporting other libraries is never a bad thing.
• A policy needs to be made and followed: when an organization starts to use social media, a policy should be created. It will at least need to detail who is responsible for posting, how often posts must be done and what type of content is acceptable.
• The distraction of personal profiles: if staff members access the organizations’ accounts through their own, they may become distracted by notifications on their own profile. There is a time and place for staff members to be checking their social media profiles and it is not always when they are supposed to be creating posts for the organization.
• Valuable time is spent finding content to post: on some occasions it will be easy to find content to post about but on others it may take awhile. The best thing to do is schedule the posts ahead of time or always have a couple of ideas that can be used at anytime.
• Organizations need to have a variety of posts about themselves and other topics/organizations: people in charge of posting will need to remember to be creative with their posts. It is best to post information about your organization and other topics. You do not always talk about yourself, so you should not only post about yourself on social media.
• Security and privacy: the organization needs to make use that the right information about the organization is being used for the posts. Some information is only appropriate for the people working at the organization.
Hope you found the list useful and I’m sure there are plenty more pros and cons out there that I have not though of.