The Good, the
Bad and the Ugly
of Social Media in the Workplace
By Rhonda R.
There’s no doubt
that Facebook participation can be an asset to any business. The
question is, how can you use it to promote your products and
company, yet be sure your team members are cautious in the way they
use it? What should the owner and office manager post? Where is the
line between personal and professional? Knowing the good, the bad
and the ugly of Facebook for business, your company can take full
advantage of this tool and watch your business grow.
One benefit Facebook offers for business is it lets the customers
and potential clients know your company on a personal level. Clients
come to you for a relationship. They assume you know how to take
care of their needs. Being accessible on social media sites helps
your clients and customers feel connected to your company.
A Facebook page can
also help bring people to your website. Customers will look for your
presence on the Internet and a Facebook profile is just another way
they can find you, leading them to your website to find out more
information and possibly contact you.
Facebook can be a
tremendous networking tool. Business pages on Facebook can elevate
your website status through Search Engine Optimization. In
addition, if you have a Facebook business page link on the opening
page of your website, potential clients can feel that they know you
and your office before coming in for their new customer experience.
Several companies have gained new clients simply because of their
A recent study of companies with 1,000 employees found that 8% of
their employees have actually been dismissed for their behavior on
sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. That’s double from the previous
year! Companies have also fired employees for sharing sensitive
details about the business and their clients. In addition, team
members have been sanctioned and fired for making unprofessional
remarks about their boss via social networking sites.
Realize that even if you use Facebook privacy settings, you may
still be in danger. Remember going to high school and doing things
you thought your parents would never know about and yet somehow they
always found out? The same is true of social media. Avoid bad
-mouthing your boss, co-worker or anyone in your professional life
in such a public way on a public forum.
should have specific guidelines that apply to social media use.
There are two factors at work here: employers need to be closely
monitoring social media sites and employees need to use common sense
when posting about work life. Employees need to be careful about
sharing sensitive information as well as making foolish remarks
about their employer.
The owner needs to
set the vision and goals for the office regarding social media with
the help of the team with the development of a mission-driven
ethical use policy.
Following are some
basic guidelines for using social media in business. The guidelines
listed below must apply to every member of the team member,
including the owner:
anything that directly or indirectly insults customers, clients
or the business itself.
When posting on
personal and social media sites, be nice and keep it clean.
Develop verbal cue cards on “what to say and not to say” on
social media. Have clearly developed expectations that apply to
all team members.
leveraging your office’s Facebook profile to start positive
conversations about your employees and your services. You can do
this by regularly posting testimonials from current or past
customers’ permission, involve them in your efforts. You can do
this by connecting with them and posting information about their
If you have a
personal page and a business page, consider your policy
regarding clients who want to become your personal friend. One
business owner lost a family of customers who requested to be
his personal friend and he said “no.”
Create a page
in your office policy manual regarding Facebook and social media
posting so each employee understands what to do and what not to
or more specific employees to be responsible for posting on and
updating your sites. Business page content will need to be
updated frequently and consistently to ensure the Wall tab stays
fresh. Carve out 1-2 hours/week for this responsibility
dedicated to marketing on the web.
With a clearly
established policy and understanding of the good, bad and the ugly,
Facebook and social media can be a great asset to your business. By
enforcing social media policies and following these guidelines,
you’ll see great results from your efforts!
Read other articles and learn more about
Rhonda R. Savage.
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