Mandy Collins & Associates

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Why your loyally tweeting employee could be damaging your brand

You see it all the time – people doing a bit of a ra-ra for their companies online, tweeting or posting on Facebook, using the hashtag, nailing their work colours to the mast.

On the face of it, it all seems quite positive. Look at the statistics! You’re getting posts and engagement and the whole caboodle. Right? Well, maybe…

Because do you know what your employee is into when they’re not at work? What they post when they’re off the clock? If they’ve established a strong online bond with your brand, and are known to be one of your employees, have you thought about the potential damage if they have a predilection for, I don’t know… kinky sex, paedophilia, or racism?

Far-fetched, you say? It really isn’t. The fall-out for companies thanks to their employees’ – or even former employees’ – behaviour can be far-reaching. And if those employees use their off-time to spew racist bile, engage in trolling or outright online bullying, or talk about their weekend orgies at a sex club in-between hashtagging your company, well, Houston, you have a problem.

The solution? First, have a social media policy in place for employees that gives clear boundaries without infringing on their free speech – a tricky balance, but it is possible. That will at least give you a leg to stand on in the worst case scenario.

Second, leave the social media posts to the professionals – your digital agency or inhouse community managers and marketing team. Let those company posts come from the company profiles, and not your employees, in a controlled environment.

It won’t completely protect you, of course. Employees with nasty extramurals can easily be associated with you if people do a bit of digging. But at least the link will be less direct, and it will be easier for you to distance yourself from any shenanigans if the worst should happen.


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