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August 8, 2013

Three Great Ways to Productively Use Social Networks

What do you think is the biggest productivity killer at work?  No doubt, some would point accusing fingers at social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.  However, a 2012 TIME article points to — surprise, surprise — “water cooler conversations” or chatting with colleagues (14 percent) as the biggest time-waster in the office.  This was followed by “computer and software problems” and “meetings” (tied at 11 percent). Down five percent was “Web surfing,” which took fourth place at nine percent.

Still, social networks have gotten so much flack for wasting employees’ time that some companies have gone as far as banning them from the workplace. Granted, there may be some jobs that don’t necessitate logging in to social networks, and there are some wayward employees who constantly surf non work-related websites.  However, a total social network ban may become a needless practice in the near future, especially because you — and the companies that ban them — depend more and more on these tools for virtually every aspect of your existence.

Convenient Messaging

Think about it: if you need to shoot someone a message, one of the easiest and least expensive ways would be to go on Facebook Messenger.  A recent article on TechCruch bets on Facebook’s new Messenger For Android that improves group messaging and adds VoIP calling.  There’s a good reason for this: with Facebook’s capability for public, semi-private and private messaging and posting, users are given more control over the data they share.

Everyone who has a social network account will probably testify that social networks are fast and convenient channels for communication. Work is not just about getting tasks done; it’s also about responding quickly and collaborating more efficiently. Social networks can do this for you.

If Facebook doesn’t seem to be a professional way for you to communicate, there are other social network alternatives that are made specifically for business. For instance, there’s also the popular private social network Yammer that was launched in 2008. It is now used by more than 200,000 companies worldwide.

Instant news and information

One reason why people love Twitter is because it gives you real-time updates on the going-ons around the world. In fact, the microblogging site has been the platform for some of the most controversial breaking news stories in the past, and it is widely used by a lot of popular personalities in politics and entertainment. Of course, social networks can also be a source of unreliable news. But if you do your research, follow the right people, and double-check your facts, social networks can become an awesome source of important information. The data that you collate can be used to back up your presentations, write your marketing copies, come up with a more precise analysis of the business environment and more.

Expedient hiring

The professional social network LinkedIn celebrated its 10th year last May with some amazing statistics. With 2.7 million business pages, 10 million endorsements, and 200 million LinkedIn users from around the world, LinkedIn is indubitably a valuable platform for companies and employees. With the huge user base, it’s no wonder that 2012 stats from the 2012 Bullhorn Reach Social Recruiting Activity Report also show that 98 percent of recruiters use the platform, with the average recruiter having 616 connections. Facebook and Twitter are also social networks of choice for recruiters, with 42 percent of the recruiters surveyed using Twitter and 33 percent using Facebook.  If you want a better chance to hire the cream of the crop or move to greener pastures, then log on to your social networks.

Henry Conrad is a game developer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from gaming and being a tech junky, he also dabbles in creative writing, which allows him to create great storylines and backgrounds for his characters. Follow him on ‘Twitter ’and on Google+.