Many companies are watching what’s being said about them online. Social networking has made it much easier for them to find references from dissatisfied customers — and even given them opportunities to resolve any issues. Those interactions are hopefully part of a detailed marketing plan.
Having employees dedicated to navigating and monitoring social media is a great idea. Make sure they know how your company should be represented. What about your other employees? Are they aware of how their actions can affect your company?
According to Deloitte’s 2009 Ethics & Workplace Survey, 74% of workers surveyed believe it is easy to damage a brand’s reputation via social networking sites. So what are you doing about it? While I don’t believe you should curtail employee participation in their personal lives, you can ask them to be more careful.
Talk to your employees and let them know your policies and expectations. Ask them not to talk about work projects or clients in a manner that can reflect negatively on the company. Educate them on how social networking can affect their professional standing (but please, don’t use that as a threat). Maybe (hopefully) not their standing at your company, but in the eyes of their colleagues and peers.
But be aware that almost half of the employees surveyed said that a company policy would not change their online behavior. So if you do have a policy, employees may ignore it anyway. And 53% said their activities are none of their employer’s business anyway.
The best bet is to proceed with caution. If you think an employee’s actions are damaging your brand, talk to him and see if you can find a way to resolve the issue. No one really wants to see someone fired for their online actions.
[via Marketing Pilgrim]
image: lumaxart under CC: attribution/ share-alike