I just read a great article in Reuters about the benefit of allowing your employees to access social media sites during work. Click here to take a look at the article here.
Michael Holden makes some compelling points in the article saying its getting hard to separate social networking with traditional networking. Battening down the hatches and blocking all social media sites is not the answer. Allowing people to socialize on social networking sites during work time turns out to be a huge benefit in the long run.
Socializing online is relationship building and many business relationships are now being formed online. People are meeting in cyberspace because they have a common interest which creates an instant bond. Even if the bond isn't directly related to your company's products or services, a strong relationship is being formed. The strong connection can eventually lead to new business, referrals or an introduction to highly targeted prospects.
Think about it. Your employees can take time off from work to attend networking events where it can take a long time to see new business or referrals. Attending networking events in person is very time consuming and can be very unproductive. Online networking takes less time, builds strong relationships with like-minded people and is completely free. Isn't it smarter to let your employees spend a few minutes online to build a huge network than to spend hours in boring, stale networking events?