Risky Business!

What are the risks of taking your brand social?

So your company wants to take it’s brand social! This is an exciting time. Everyone can’t wait to like, follow, retweet, and share what your company has to say and offer!

People love where they work and they cannot wait to share their excitement with others…..SOCIALLY!!!!

So how could ANY of this be a bad thing you may ask?

Because social media is a whole new world…which no matter how much you try to convince yourself….you have almost NO CONTROL OVER!

As managers we all like to think our employees love to come to work. They think we have the best company and the best managers. Everyone believes they are being paid enough and their benefits can’t be beat…..but in reality people don’t feel like that.

Prior to your company joining social media, your employees may complain on their own personal pages, but in the end, there is no DIRECT link to you and your company as a whole. So once you join the forever sharing, changing, and evolving SM world you want to help reduce the risk of your company and its employees of getting into HOT WATER!

Rules of Engagement

  • Create a SM Policy for your organization, but do so carefully. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRD) has strict guidelines on what you allow your employees to say. For example you cannot prevent your employees from speaking on SM about working conditions (pay, environment, management, benefits, etc.). You can however, prevent them from sharing trade secrets and sharing client or patient’s private information.

NLRB Social Media Guidelines


  • Train your staff on what is and what is no professional and appropriate when posting on the business page and monitor what is placed directly to the page.

Employees at times can help address issues with customers and clients if they are properly trained on how to handle customer complaints and issues.

Customer Service and Social Media


  • Create notifications for your businesses name. You want to be alerted immedietly if there is new business, a review, a post or someone who has mentioned you on the internet. You want to be able to look into the post and make sure the information shared is not going to damage your companies brand. If you are alerted to the issue immedietly you are able to tackle it head on before it becomes a bigger issue.

Google Alerts


HR can help reduce some of the risk a company might face when taking the brand public by training employees, monitoring their employment satisfaction, and ensuring that all company policies and procedures are being followed.

No matter what you do though, there will always be the risk of the unknown and the uncontrollable. Since social media is a form of the first amendment, people can post whatever they want, with little to no consequences. In a personal setting this is not such a problem, but in a business setting, this can harm your companies brand.

At the end of the day my suggestion is know what you can and cannot tell your employees to do, and say, and help them understand how social media can help build your companies brand.

I have seen social media work negatively for employees who have used it recklessly and with little to no concern about it’s employers. I have also seen employees engage with consumers and help build a brand that they are proud to be associated with. It is all about training and communication, if you do both well…..you will be successful in reducing risk!

What have been some of your social media work experiences?


2 thoughts on “Risky Business!

  1. Toni,
    Loved your blog! It’s got a ton of information about what’s acceptable and what’s not while taking the brand social. I have been through a series of HR steps that you have mentioned while working as a teacher here. The department was very rigid with its rules and also concerned about our online presence. Since educators are supposed to live the example they preach, we had to make sure we maintained our profile transparent. I still remember my first orientation with them!!


  2. Ha! Love the title. It’s creative and very relative to the post. I had to read my companies whole policy on social media. Before I opened my wordpress account, I had to make sure with my company that I wasn’t making a blog in relation to my company. Which makes sense. They want to make sure their employees don’t create blogs, SM accounts, and websites that are non-value added or could deter their reputation.


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