Last updated: 08.10.13

Company bosses 'must become experts in social media'

It is becoming increasingly important for managers and directors to have a firm grasp on social media websites, as they can have enormous benefits.

Whether bosses use platforms like Twitter and Google+ for training purposes or sharing useful web pages with employees, these networks are a core part of the digital revolution and can no longer be ignored in business.

According to an article in the Financial Times, while most of a company's workers will be engaged with social media, the same cannot be said for the big bosses and senior members of staff.

They may make their presence felt in meetings and at conferences, but as the online sphere is growing stronger every day, they need to establish themselves virtually as well.

The cause mainly lies in generation - the vast majority of younger employees in an organisation will be highly computer-literate and familiar with sites like Facebook, and some older workers may need to catch up.

By rolling out social media training, which they, as senior members of staff, will too benefit from, managers will be able to close the digital gap and ensure standards are consistent across the workforce. Experience is extremely important in business, but now, so is getting to grips with technology.

A number of major firms are recognising how important it is to have an understanding of social media, including multinational technology company IBM.

In the organisation's Social Computing Guidelines, it claims that the boundaries between public and private, personal and professional are blurred in online social networks.

"By virtue of identifying yourself as an IBMer within a social network, you are now connected to your colleagues, managers and even IBM’s clients. You should ensure that content associated with you is consistent with your work at IBM," the document adds.

This shows that not only are social media networks useful for connecting directors and employees, they also offer a way of identifying with an employer's values and representing them in the all-important digital sphere.