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Companies increasing spending on social media

Companies are investing more time and money on social media tools that improve interactions with customers, but the technology can also be focused internally as part of employee reward and recognition programs.

Companies are investing more time and money on social media tools that improve interactions with customers, but the technology can also be focused internally as part of employee reward and recognition programs.

A recent survey by Duke University states that businesses are expecting to dramatically increase their social media spending over the next five years. Currently most organizations dedicate about 10 percent of their operating budgets to social media initiatives. This figure is expected to jump to 20 percent by 2018.

"This is a significant increase in attention being paid to social media," Christine Moorman, a marketing professor at Duke told Direct Marketing News. "When we first asked the question in 2009, they were spending 3.5 percent on social media. Now they're saying they will spend 11.5 percent this year and 21.6 percent in five years."

One major contributing factor to the rising importance of social media is its ability to build online communities. Companies with remote workers, or various facilities across the country, can improve their cultural identity by engaging employees on social networks. Incentive Magazine reports that social media can increase the productivity of staff members by helping to build connections between different departments and offices.

Build connections among staff with social media
Social media can be used as a channel for employee recognition programs by providing instant feedback on performance. The channel allows businesses to utilize peer pressure to police underperformers. The public forum allows coworkers to view and comment on others' success, which could inspire them to try harder to accomplish their own goals.

The source also notes that generating a lot of activity on social networks provides a lot of information about the various successes of recognition programs. Finding what type of incentives work best help companies adjust their employee reward programs to generate the best results. Looking for patterns in the comments and activity levels may assist them when identifying which initiatives are losing momentum and employee engagement is in danger of falling. A timely message pushing for the completion of a goal can keep staff members motivated.

Social media is a versatile office tool. Many companies consider it to be primarily a marketing channel, but its ability to connect various employees make it a valuable in running effective recognition programs. Organizations that regularly showcase examples of success on social media could see more participation in incentive programs from staff members.

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