Access Denied

August 10, 2009
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Think back to the early part of this decade… you probably worked for a company that restricted internet access, either completely or to certain sites, maybe that’s still the case so that you don’t goof off during work hours. Back when this was the norm, we worked with a cataloguer who allowed open access and encouraged their call center reps to track a competitor each. In their weekly meetings, they would discuss that competitor’s activities and what they could learn from them. Their reps felt more connected and were motivated to help grow the business – and grow they did, dramatically!

I’ve thought about their success as I’ve read recent coverage on companies blocking social media – some headlines include ESPN’s banning reporters from using social media sites, the Marines have issued a similar ban. While I see the security concern associated with the armed forces, social media must play a vital role in family connections while they serve; we even wrote about how it helped a young soldier whose ideal contact was through Facebook.

As companies evaluate their policy on social media access, considerations have to include overall marketing plans, customer expectations, competitor


Think back to the early part of this decade… you probably worked for a company that restricted internet access, either completely or to certain sites, maybe that’s still the case so that you don’t goof off during work hours. Back when this was the norm, we worked with a cataloguer who allowed open access and encouraged their call center reps to track a competitor each. In their weekly meetings, they would discuss that competitor’s activities and what they could learn from them. Their reps felt more connected and were motivated to help grow the business – and grow they did, dramatically!

I’ve thought about their success as I’ve read recent coverage on companies blocking social media – some headlines include ESPN’s banning reporters from using social media sites, the Marines have issued a similar ban. While I see the security concern associated with the armed forces, social media must play a vital role in family connections while they serve; we even wrote about how it helped a young soldier whose ideal contact was through Facebook.

As companies evaluate their policy on social media access, considerations have to include overall marketing plans, customer expectations, competitor activities… and the fact that your employees can easily access these sites on their smart phones. Instead of blocking, look into ways to make the most of granting access, set a policy/ guidelines so that you can turn the privilege into a benefit for your marketing.

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