Facebook: To Ban or Not to Ban?

There is an ever-growing debate on whether employees should have access to Facebook in the work environment. This presentation on eWeek highlights the recent debate from Gartner’s Ray Valdes and Nikos Drakos on the controversial social networking. Ray Valdes defended use of Facebook in an organization while Nikos Drakos condemned it.

Many topics were discussed including security, employee code of conduct, liability, and intellectual property. While all of these issues remain a concern, ultimately 81% of people who attended the debate sided with Ray Valdes and the use of Facebook.

Although not discussed in the presentation, here’s an additional reason why Facebook should not be banned.

The way that we, the consumers, buy our products are constantly evolving. The way we reach consumers have shifted from traditional media to user generated content. Today’s marketplace does not want to be marketed directly to; instead it relies on recommendations from friends through social networking sites, forums, and blogs, or what we characterize today as Web 2.0. This article on PR Newswire shows us how companies like Blockbuster and Coca-Cola have taken advantage of social ads to enhance it’s presence in the marketplace. Blockbuster has launched an application users can create a list of movies that they want to see, and post ratings and reviews so that their friends can see. Jim Keyes, CEO and chairman of Blockbuster mentions:

"We view this as an innovative way to cultivate relationships with millions of Facebook users by enabling them to interact with Blockbuster in convenient, relevant and entertaining ways,"

Viral marketing is the new wave of the future. By participating in communities, consumers feel motivated to share benefits of different brands with their friends. There are over 65 million Facebook users and roughly 15 million of those use Facebook applications. Clearly, businesses are missing out if they are not already involved in social networking practices. Should we ban Facebook? I say nay...


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