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Is social media different in the UK than the US?

by on August 13, 2010

Four years ago a good friend of mine moved to London to go to graduate school, feeling our college experience wasn’t enough to get her the kind of job she was looking for, she took her studies oversees for what should have only been two years, yet somehow four years later she is still not back in the states. With broken promises to come and visit (lack of money and a passport) I will finally see her in her not so new home -because of my own studies, where she has found love, a wonderful job and an international graduate degree.

She recently came back to D.C. for the first time this summer since 2007 just for a week. I finally got a chance to speak to her and ask her the question I have been wondering  for some time now, “why haven’t you come home? I moved to DC for you!” Her response was. “It’s just amazing. I love it! And I deserve to be there until the world cup at least!” Yes I have heard this statement before, not about the world cup but the amazing part, from my parents, friends that have spent a year abroad and random people I find myself speaking to (everyone has been there but me). What I realize is this “amazement” is something I will have to find out for myself by experiencing the country myself.

During my research on social media in the UK I really could not find anything  vastly different in the way people are consuming the platform than the way they do in America.  In a recent UK news report it has been stated that business owners are concerned about the loss of revenue their companies are losing due to employee procrastination on social media sites. This is the exact same situation the U.S. was in almost two years ago when reports came out on similar concerns of their labor force and social media procrastination. The action many American companies took however, was to block social media sites at their companies, some companies allowed limited access but only to the marketing department who would use it for work purposes, currently 54% of American companies ban social media use.
I believe since this is a fairly new issue in the UK, different steps can be taken to incorporate employees desire to engage online and an opportunity for companies to leverage their employees social media browsing for the company’s use. In other words learn from American companies quick action to just shut it off.

1.    Social Media is allowed at work!…For the purpose of Work.

All employees should be advised to use their facebook, twitter and myspace accounts to promote positive feedback of their company and the happenings going on in their companies industry.

2.    At Least use it Correctly.
Since companies are conserned with the loss billons of dollars in efficient work, employeers should offer onsite social media training that benefits the company. The training should be centered around teaching employees how to be socal media ambassadors for their company online

3.    You like to Shop? Shop for Us?
According to a survey by SimplyZesty 60% of people in the UK read blogs. This is great! Encourage all employees to read blogs that relate to their work industry and they can offer advice and beneficial cometary that could potentially drive traffic back to their employer business website.

The report also stated that social networking is now the most popular pastime in the UK, well by implementing these steps, pastime will not be done at work it will go from pastime to work without blocking of media’s new right foot.


From → United Kingdom

  1. erinnd permalink

    Linda, I like how you set up this post with the personal story, but after reading it, I feel that you left out an example of a U.K. company that is struggling with the issue of their employees spending too much time of social media sites. Your post has left me wanting to read more about the topic, rather than selling your point.

  2. How do you draw the line between work and personal when the two overlap for so many people in so many professions?

  3. I got the sense this week that you felt a time crunch and likely spent a bit less time on forming your point of view in this post than you usually have done in other weeks. As a result, the connection between the first part with the personal story an the second where you talk about social media at work seemed to be missing. There were several distracting typos and more importantly your overall conclusion about there not seeming to be very many differences between the UK and the US could have been true, but if that was going to be the core of your post than the angle you could have taken might have been to demonstrate several ways that both countries are similar. As it was, your post title seemed to suggest that you were going to focus on the differences, so your conclusion that there weren’t really many seemed out of sync. You also didn’t mention what is probably a very important component of the debate about social media at work, which is what type of work you do. Is social media more beneficial for certain types of jobs at work? Overall it just seemed that your topic needed a bit more research and time to really dig into. I know you can do better than this and you have done so in previous weeks. (3)

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