It’s the new year and I’ve been having some discussions lately about if companies should allow employees to build a brand on social media.
Should they be allowed to talk about products and services? Will this not take away from our spotlight?
My opinion remains clear. Not only should everyone have an online presence, everyone should also work on it and use it for networking. Companies who limit their employees’ use of social media are losing out on establishing brand ambassadors and creating an employee advocacy network. The greatest thing that can happen to your company (and your brand) is that your employees are enthusiastic to talk about it. According to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer
an employee advocate is two times more trusted than a CEO. Employers have an enormous opportunity to engage and capitalize on these powerful advocates, or risk missing out on an important group of supporters. Allow employees to spread your content – the effect can often be much greater than through your own distribution channels.
But what about drawing the line between private and professional (is the next question I am getting)?
If all you do is post about your company, everyone will think you do not have a life (or a personality). So do a bit of both. The nice thing about using social media as a person is that you have a human face. So write about your interests, post about your travels, your favorite food, your cat (well maybe limit the cat posts 🙂 Genuine posts are more important than marketing language.
Companies should not worry that lines will be blurred. Tell your employees that they should clearly brand their online posts as personal and their own (for instance, on their Twitter profile). And let them know (even though they probably already do) not to post confidential information, legal issues, strategies. For all this (and more) there are social media policies and guidelines (take a look at Dell or Adidas for inspiration).
People build relationships with people, not companies.
I like your article! 🙂 So you feel the benefits of social media outweigh the potential negatives of employees being online? I don’t typically notice who someone works for on social media but maybe that just has to do with my network. Could you expand on what you think the benefits are? Thanks!
Thanks for liking my article! There are many benefits of having employees talking about you on social media. Main thing that it gives the company a human face! And trust always is built between people. It also increases your social reach (think of the followers they have that you as a company may not have (yet), creates awareness for your brand, products, services, and also it can increase traffic on the website.
Do you think companies should leverage their employees for additional brand reach? Like asking them to post something on their page (company could offer to pay them for it)?
If you pay someone then they will not be an authentic brand ambassador. But you should defintely encourage them to use social media, offer training and insights.