As everybody knows Social Networking is becoming more and more important when it comes to branding and marketing your business online and now in real life. People are more connected than ever with the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Not knowing the actual number on this, we roughly guesstimate that at least 6 out of 10 people utilize these sites for business or personal use. So the question is: do you allow your employees to use Social Networking sites and allow them to connect themselves with your brand?
It all depends on your business and employees. I strongly encourage you to get your staff involved as it can help you grow your network to new customers. One major thing you need to address though is when your implement such an idea is that your employees know the proper way to communicate with a customer compared to personal communication with a friend.
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Your star front line employee might be well groomed, speaks very well, and sets a great example for your brand and business. However on their Facebook page you might find pictures of tattoo's, or that they are friends with known felons, or they have people on their page airing out their dirty laundry. Now this star front line employee has listed as their employer your business. One of your major clients comes across your employees Facebook page and remembers the good experience they were given and decides to add them as a friend. Once the friendship is accepted they now see what is on your employee's wall. Do you want that to reflect on your business?
That is one of the cons; there are so many pros as well. You could have a stellar front line employee, and that employee is really out promoting your business to their contacts, then their contacts promote to theirs etc, etc. These are just some things you need to ask before creating a Social Network Policy.
Making a careful Social Networking policy can help you protect your brand, and help grow your business. Check with your local HR laws before implementing such a policy as you do not want to infringe on someone’s rights. I am sure this will be coming up as a major question in the next few months with employers.