When it comes to asking employees to promote their employer’s brand on social media I cringe. I implemented enterprise HR solutions and I know what trouble brews when a combination of money, company politics and access to a powerful communications channel comes together. Several years ago naive PR and advertising execs actively encouraged their clients to give employees access to accounts “your brand ambassadors”. You don’t hear that so much any more, for goodness sakes even a statement from the CEO is vetted before release.
Employees can be valuable in helping to promote a brand but simple business sense should apply. You trust your company assets to a small group, why would you hand your brand (most valuable asset) over to just anyone? Simple rules:
Ability to post directly to account kept restricted
Posts from others encouraged but must be submitted and posted by admin:
This allows for correcting writing, image, grammar, and optimising for key words and posting times. The benefits extend beyond crisis managementTeach employees how to include the brand in their personal posts through @mention and #tags
Do not allow direct communication between employees and customers other than “thank you” and “can I refer you to someone that can better assist you”.
Explain to employees that while you value their contritubtion, it is not in their best interest to turn their personal profile into a customer service platform. What fun is that?
Reward good behaviour, ignore bad behaviour
Actively like good comments from employees, share on brand profile as appropriate
Handle negative comments offline!
If your company is very large invest in social media management tools that allow for authorisation before posting.
In short, most rules of social media follow the same as most business decisions. Use common sense and tend to the conservative.