What Does Your Employee’s Facebook Page Say About Your Company?
In the era of digital technology, it is no longer a question of whether or not your employees use social media but about how they use it and whether it has the potential to benefit or hurt the company where they work.
On one hand, employees invest a huge chunk of their life at work. They want it to matter and enjoy sharing information about it. On the other, companies benefit when a new hire’s social media activity aligns well with the business’ culture. Companies want happy employees who might even be encouraged to post positive comments about the company on their social media.
So how does an employee’s personal Facebook page affect your company?
Every time your employee mentions your company on social media they are helping build brand awareness. It is like a networking event on a national (or sometimes global) scope. Their words – positive or negative – make an impact and carry a lot of weight because, in most cases, online users will trust an employee testimonial over a CEO testimonial. The perception is that employees are closer to ‘the truth’ and therefore a more credible source.
Nothing is better for a company than having loyal employees eager to brag about it to their inner circle. Those circles grow much larger when it’s shared on their social networks, like posting photos with company gear, or spreading the word about the great company culture. These testimonials (straight from the heart) are the biggest brand boosters.
Just as employee accolades help boost a company’s reputation, negative comments or unprofessional employee photos or activities can certainly damage a brand. Putting a good social media policy in place may protect your brand and help guide employees on how to utilize their online activity in a way that also protects and promotes, rather than damage, your business’ reputation.
Be aware that social media is not sheltered from the law. Moreover, social media is considered a public domain. It means that anything posted on a Facebook page, no matter how private you might think it is, will be treated the same as writing on a huge billboard. Posting, sharing, or commenting on confidential information will have its legal consequences. Companies have sought out and penalized employees who purposely or inadvertently posted proprietary or false company information.
A well-written, clear Social Media Policy will give employees the encouragement and parameters of posting information that helps grow your business brand while protecting your online reputation.
Providing guidelines is not the only tool for building and protecting your brand online. Monitoring and managing your business via social media platforms helps you stay on top of your game, be aware of any critical issues that might arise, and increases networking opportunities with current and potential clients.