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Small Business Owners Beware: Staff Need Boundaries With Social Media

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 1/4/2010

Small business owners should be aware of the potential pitfalls of social media.

With the start of a new decade, use of social media is expected to skyrocket. According to eMarketer, marketers will spend more than $2 billion creating and maintaining a social network presence this year. But a recent survey from Robert Half Technology might provide some insightful news for small business owners who plan to use social media this year.

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The survey indicates that as businesses increasingly use Facebook and Twitter, business owners increasingly worry that employees log on for personal use during work hours. Small business owners are advised to restrict the use of social media in the workplace to business purposes, as 54 percent of respondents do this to increase the effectiveness of social media.

Still, another concern for small business owners reflected in the survey is the possibility that employees will leak confidential information or post thoughts that may reflect badly on the company.

"It's very easy to spin up a Twitter account and publish something," Jamie Grenney, director of social media for San-Francisco-based Salesforce.com, told the San Francisco Examiner. "There's no undo button."

By establishing boundaries, small business owners might find social media can still be a successful marketing strategy for the new decade; reportedly, employers are now training staff to update social media sites to build a virtual community of patrons.

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