How do employees represent your company online?

Weidert Group Staff
Posted by Weidert Group Staff on October 20, 2009
Social media app icons on a phone

5 tips to ensure your staff is helping, not hurting your brand in social networks

According to a new study by Proofpoint, of companies with 1,000 or more employees, 17 percent report having issues with employees' use of social media. As our world becomes smaller with every new social network launch it’s easy for employees to misrepresent brands online. Whether your company is involved in social media or not, it’s your job as an employer to make sure your employees are properly representing themselves and your company. Here are 5 tips to get you started:

1. Tell them you’re watching – Many people believe their companies are so pre-occupied with work that they’re not aware of what employees are saying online. It wouldn’t hurt to have HR distribute a note to all employees informing them of your company’s involvement in social media, social network monitoring and tracking of employees’ online activities.

2. Build a social media policy into your employee handbook – Just like your employee handbook describes how staff members should represent themselves on the phone or in person, it should also explain that your company expects the same courtesy online. Doing so will make your employees aware of consequences for acting unprofessionally on sites like Facebook or Twitter.

3. Encourage professional brands – You can’t stop employees from having Twitter or Facebook accounts or what they say on them, but you can encourage them to say positive things about your company. Remind your staff to use common sense and use their social networking accounts to connect with clients/prospects and be active in your company’s social media campaigns.

4. Suggest things to talk about – If you want to gain the most value from your employees’ networks, show them how they can help interact with the company’s social profiles. Give them daily messages to retweet, fun company photos of them to post on their Facebook pages or approval to talk to customers online. If they receive trust from your company to get involved, they’ll most likely give respect back to your company.

5. Show them the consequences – Because most employees think they can’t be reprimanded for what they say about a company on their Facebook, Twitter account or blog, show them how poor decisions have affected employees at other companies.


You can also teach the lessons of Dominos and share these interesting findings from the Proofpoint study:

  • 15 percent have disciplined an employee for violating multimedia sharing / posting policies
  • 13 percent of US companies investigated an exposure event involving mobile or Web-based short message services
  • 17 percent disciplined an employee for violating blog or message board policies

Topics: Social Media

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