This case study is a brief outline of a global information technology services company’s implementation of social media policy for employees. It discusses the steps Virtua took to educate employees on the potential benefits the firm could realize from responsible social media interaction with other employees and current/potential customers and the guidelines it wanted employees to follow.
In the end Virtua realized many benefits from the social media plan it launched, including sales leads, increased customer interaction, and a broader online presence. They also learned a few important lessons. I found a couple of these to be especially important.
First, though it is important to educate employees on the firms goals with social media and monitor their involvement, this must be done so "with a light touch". Slip-ups and misuse is bound to occur at some point, most likely early on in the game. It’s important to use these as a lesson to educate employees on what is and what is not appropriate. Second, not everyone has the same need to engage in social media. Having different requirements for different roles is preferable. I think this is important because forcing individuals to use social media really runs counter to the fundamental purpose of social media. You can't force people to talk to others, or like others in real life and this is true online as well. The interaction must be genuine, otherwise it’s not worth having (ever been stuck in an awkward conversation with someone you didn’t like or had no interest in talking to??).
This case study is a brief outline of some important issues to consider when implementing social media in the workplace, it would be a nice supplement to broader research on implementation steps.