There may be no charge to post stuff onto social media platforms, but if you are running a business, and people are using  the time and resources you have paid for, by definition, there is a cost, even if it is an opportunity cost.

Many businesses I have seen just react to social media use by employees by banning it, usually with a spectacular lack of success, others just ignore it, accepting the time spent as a hidden cost in their overheads, only a few have seen the hidden value.

Surely it would be better to set out to harness the resources that are going to be consumed anyway in such a way that they deliver some value.

Here is a list of ideas, feel free to add to them:

    • Set up a social media intranet to:
        •  harvest new product and improvement ideas,
        • customer service success stories,
        •  problem/solution discussion threads for company centric problems,
        • a virtual “water cooler” discussion forum on just about anything on employees minds,
    • Encourage consumer/customer contact with individuals in the business
    • Offer product usage tips, recipes ideas, to consumers, allowing them to respond and build a community
    • Report on company activities outside normal trading, and seek stakeholders feedback on how they went
    • Ditto for activities of employees away from work
    • Add personal stories about being an employee, supplier, customer or shareholder, personalise the place.

Add your own to the list, I suspect it could go on for pages.