When Employees Tweet - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Unless you block access to every social media site ever created, it’s going to be pretty impossible to keep your employees from signing in to their favorite sites at work; and new studies are suggesting that you shouldn’t deter them from using it either. Of course, you don’t want tweeting with friends and playing Farmville to take precedence over their main responsibilities, but your employees just might be the best brand ambassador’s you never hired. Besides customer relationship management, employees can help you update the public about company news, new product launches, and customer appreciation events.

If you’re concerned about how employees use social media during work hours or worried that your proprietary secrets might get leaked on YouTube here are a couple of strategies you can implement to make sure your employees are using these tools to uplift your brand and not drag it through the mud:

-    Give them permission to use social media. Unless you block certain websites, your employees aer probably going to sneak and use it anyway. Keep in mind that higher performing organizations are more likely to encourage the use of these tools than lower performers, according to a report by the American Society for Training & Development commissioned from the Institute for Corporate Productivity. But don’t force them to use it unless it is a critical function of their job, and don’t tell them what to say, either. Employees want to feel like you trust them. Allow them to use their own voice. It will sound more organic to their friends if they discuss their excitement about a product launch that they worked on rather than simply post a press release you created.

-   Provide clarity. Make clear to them what is appropriate and what is inappropriate to talk about as it concerns the company. Sixty percent of the companies that responded to an annual survey conducted by the American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute said they had some social media policy in place. You don’t want employees discussing proprietary secrets with your competition, but you do want them to share the company’s landmark achievements or reply positively to complaints or praise from your customers, who might be their friends. The policy should define the goals and purposes of using social media in the organization’s day-to-day business, states the i4cp.

-    Teach them how to avoid malware. Tell your employees to be careful opening links on Facebook or Twitter when they are at work. Spammers are getting in the habit of posting malicious links that can lead to viruses. The last thing you need is several broken computers that need costly repairs. Tell them not to open links from friends they do not know. Also, make sure that computers in your office have browsers that are updated with the most recent anti-virus software.

-    Track them. That might sound creepy, but if you have employees on social media then you need to know what they are saying about your company. Use software as a service (SaaS) solutions, like Social Sentry by Teneros for example, which will track every “public” word written about your company by your employees on social media. Social Sentry will also measure how much time employees are spending on social media during work hours. Some companies will even archive an employee’s entire social media history in case the posts can be used as evidence in a lawsuit. Also try SocialWare Sync, which for $9.99 per month will along with archiving make sure that your digital presence stays compliant with regulatory agencies in your industry.

So, let us know. Are your employees a part of your social media strategy?

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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