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Marketing has evolved tremendously over the past few years. It was initially focused on mediums that were more traditional like print, TVCs, and the radio. The reason behind this was the reach of these mediums to the target audience. The traditional marketing mediums took longer to be created, were not highly customizable, and required manual effort.
Back then, the marketing team would tend to sit together, prepare proposals, hand design advertisements, and work with the printing company or television channel to get their marketing plans executed. However, things in the marketing industry took a very interesting turn with the penetration of the internet and technology into the mainstream corporate world. Newer and more effective marketing mediums cannibalized the older and traditional marketing mediums. These include digital marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and direct marketing.
The traditional marketing mediums have not been completely erased. They still exist for marketing plans that are aimed to reach the masses or ones that are not customized. They just tend to make up a lower percentage of a company’s total marketing budget in the current times. The newer marketing mediums are targeted, tailored to almost every individual, can reach individuals across the globe, and are very cost-effective. The fact that the newer marketing mediums have merged geographical boundaries has also changed the way that marketing teams tend to work with each other.
The marketing team of a company is no longer restricted to a team sitting in one geographical location. It tends to include resources that have been outsourced from across geographical boundaries, ideas generated from a multicultural group of people, and global execution, to say the least. The sheer nature of how a marketing team works together has also impacted the way they interact outside their work environment.
That being said, in the current times, every single person is subject to and a source of marketing either directly or indirectly. At most times, we may just be appreciating something on our social media only to be marketing that brand via word of mouth (considered to be one of the most powerful means of marketing). In this white noise of marketing all around us, it is hard to break through and be heard. The only way for a brand to be heard is to ensure their idea is unique from its inception to its execution.
In order to be able to come up with such ideas, it is integral to hire qualified resources and ensure that they have synergy as a team.
Why Would Marketers Be Friends With Their Co-Workers on Social Media?
Social media is currently the center of social interaction, professional engagement, novel marketing ideas, finding jobs, hiring resources, and E-commerce. It has become a single channel that caters to our personal and professional needs.
Given the penetration of social media into our lives, the boundaries between our personal and professional interactions have blurred. It is a widely accepted practice to be friends with official colleagues on social media. You may often find sending or receiving friend requests from your colleagues over Facebook. Another commonly used social media platform is LinkedIn, but it is known for its professional interaction rather than social.
The nature of the marketing necessitates networking, be it professional or personal. The more you network, the better is the exposure you get, and the bigger is the potential audience for your marketing ideas. When you choose to be a marketer, you need to realize that your worth is reflected by the network you have. The best place to start building your network is by tapping into your workplace colleagues. This is one of the biggest reasons why marketers tend to be friends with their co-workers on social media.
Another reason why marketers tend to be friends with their colleagues on social media is to build a more casual relationship with them outside the official workspace. Official relationships tend to create invisible boundaries that are aimed at being eliminated via social interactions. Since marketing is all about creativity and being bold, it is essential that the people who work together are comfortable enough to voice their ideas.
Interacting socially with your office, colleagues also opens up new digital platforms that can either serve as a source of new marketing ideas or as an audience for the marketing of your organization’s brands. There may be brands or products that your colleagues follow, and you don’t. However, viewing these brands on their social media might end up serving as an inspiration for your own ideas.
Furthermore, being friends with your colleagues on social media allows you to witness their interests and personal life. This will help colleagues empathize with each other and be more sensitive to the likes and dislikes of those around them. This allows harmonious and respectable relations to be built in the workspace.
Why Would Marketers Not Be Friends With Their Co-Workers on Social Media?
Workplace Co-workers being added to your social media has a lot of benefits. This is the reason that it has become a norm in the current times. However, despite its proven benefits, there are some marketers who are still not sold on this idea. They still like to keep a firm boundary between their professional and personal life. Some people still believe that the cons of mixing professional and personal life outweigh its pros.
A lot of marketers prefer keeping their personal lives out of their professional matters. They do not want any aspect of their personal lives to reflect on their professional performance. It is believed by them that their lives on social media might be used to judge them in the official environment as well. It is a fact that we tend to have different personas crafted out for different areas of our lives. The personality that we carry in our corporate environment is a lot more formal and controlled as compared to the personality we carry in our personal lives.
There is a sense of professional insecurity that all individuals tend to carry. There is a fear of suffering from professional losses like job opportunities, clientele, or business success due to sharing their personal lives with professional colleagues. Unfortunately, there have been actual cases of individuals suffering losses in their professional lives due to opinions or content they might have shared on their social media.
Alternatively, individuals like to have a sense of control in their lives with respect to who the audience is for the content they share on their social media accounts. Once they add their colleagues to their social media accounts, they lose their sense of control, and the line between their personal and professional lives are blurred. This creates a sense of discomfort, which is why they prefer to keep the two areas of their lives separate.
The personal lives that are shared on our social media accounts tend to consist of our most intimate family moments photographs, content that we share from other pages or groups, opinions that we may voice, or even something as basic as the type of music we like. This creates a certain sense of vulnerability and becomes a potential source of discrimination in the workplace. This is a pretty solid ground for some people to keep a hard-wired boundary between their colleagues at the workplace and their lives on social media.
In extreme situations adding your colleagues or bosses to your social media accounts may lead to the loss of your job or downfall in the professional sector.
What Do Marketers Do With Their Co-Workers That Are Friends on Social Media?
Co-workers that are also friends on social media tend to engage in a diversified set of activities together. These activities can be related to the workplace network or something completely personal to take a break from the monotony of the official environment.
At times they may attend a conference or a marketing event together. This allows them to network together with people of the industry and to interact in a relatively informal setting as compared to that of the office.
At other times they may end up booking a limousine service to have a completely casual night of partying together. Sometimes workplace colleagues may want to take the edge off after either a really bad day or a massive achievement by heading out for dinner, drinks, clubbing, or a simple movie night.
Workplace colleagues who are friends on social media are also likely to plan retreats. These are mostly scenic or recreational sites that can house a group of people for a few days. These retreats tend to comprise a bunch of activities that are completely different from any workplace interaction. This allows marketers to spend time of enjoyment with their colleagues that not only strengthens their bonds personally but also helps with improving team dynamics.
Marketers who are friends with their co-workers socially may even hang out with them at a game, go for bowling together, or hold a one-dish dinner party to make it more personal.
Some of the interactions of marketers with their colleagues outside the office environment may still be a bit corporate. This tends to include events like team award functions that tend to recognize and reward the achievements of individuals in the marketing team. This helps develop a feeling of motivation and achievement amongst the colleagues of the marketing team. The individuals whose efforts have been recognized tend to feel motivated to work even harder in the future.
Marketers also tend to believe in exercising their minds out of workplace events. This tends to comprise of entering into a competition of marketers as a team. This allows them to build synergy as a team, exercise their marketing skills to come up with new ideas, and in the process, gain knowledge about the marketing industry. These activities tend to benefit the team and the organization in the long run.
Every possible interaction that is there between a marketer and their colleagues tends to provide the much-needed breather from day to day office work monotony. This tends to soften the boundaries of personal interaction between the team members and results in professional growth for all of them.
Marketers are normal human beings, like any other person in the working sector. An individual tends to have a certain level of control in their lives when it is pertaining to deciding who they allow into their personal lives and who they do not. In comparison, there are many individuals who may be perfectly comfortable with sharing their personal lives with their workplace colleagues. They feel safe, adding their colleagues to their social media, and sharing their personal lives with them. They tend to believe that it is more beneficial than damaging to have their professional colleagues as a part of their personal lives as well.
However, there are others who do not tend to believe in this school of thought. Regardless of the benefits of merging personal and professional boundaries, there are individuals who strive hard to keep the two separate. Marketers often prefer guarding their personal life against professional scrutiny, which eventually might lead to professional losses or workplace discrimination. In any case, both scenarios have their pros and cons, and the option a particular marketer would choose will be different from what another marketer might choose.
It is always better to strike a slightly softer balance between your professional circle and your personal life. Having hard-wired boundaries between the two is also not highly appreciated in today’s world. Colleagues expect to be trusted enough to be part of your personal life. Not being added to your Facebook list of friends is actually taken as an office by a lot of work colleagues, and they might actually consider the marketer who does this to be an outcast. As a marketer, you should grow your network by selective addition of your professional network on your social media account. Adding every person from your workplace is never really the right thing to do in this case.
Sehrish Yunus is an experienced marketer and avid traveler who works for Limousine Services USA. Sehrish has considerable corporate experience working in the marketing and advertising industry. She has worked in the fields of product marketing, sales, trade marketing, and B2B marketing that has helped her understand the personal and professional dynamics of the marketing industry.
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