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Social media has grown to be a fundamental tool used by businesses to promote their products and services. In order to encourage expanding growth in their social media platforms, businesses are beginning to encourage employees to promote their company through blog posts, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and various other sites.

Allowing employees to freely post and promote a company through social media could be worrisome to the company’s leadership. Below, both sides of the argument are made to help leaders make an educated decision on how to move forward with allowing their employees to become involved in their social media presence.

  • Pro: If used properly, social media can serve as an effective and extremely low cost advertising campaign. Your own employees are great potential promoters of your company by using their personal accounts to create company awareness.
  • Con: Use of personal accounts to promote your company could lead to distracted workers as well as a tarnished company image due to negative comments. A policy should be established to help your company avoid these issues.

To protect yourself against these and other negative repercussions of involving employees in social media, use the following tips.

  • Write a social media policy and have each team member sign it. Explain in the policy that the permission to use it during work hours should not distract from accomplishing their daily tasks. Also, include that there will be consequence for promoting negative comments concerning your business.
  • Encourage your employees to take part in your social media venture. While you want ground rules to be established, you also want your employees to feel as though they have a part in your company. This also helps increase the awareness of your company’s social media sites by indirectly reaching your employees’ networks through their pages.

Social media can be quite a conundrum, but do not let that dissuade you from taking advantage of the positives it can bring.