From CEO to intern – how to make sure employees are on message

mistakes on social mediaWhilst many organisations continue to ban the use of social media at work, they are in effect preferring to bury their heads in the sand in the hope that the situation will go away. Ignoring for a second the multitude of advantages that can come from engaging key people throughout your organisation in your social efforts, with smart phones people can access social whenever they want.

The Sale Sharks rugby team for instance recently sacked their social media manager, after she took to her personal Facebook page to complain about fans berating her for the poor performance of the team (who are bottom). That in itself may not have been a hangable offence, but calling them fuckwits did ultimately prove to be.

Of course, seniority is no guarantee either. Earlier this year Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shared proudly that Netflix customers had viewed over 1 billion hours of content the previous month. It\’s probably the kind of boast that goes up on Facebook every day (in our own way of course). The problem in this instance was that under SEC regulations, that kind of announcement has to be made through prescribed channels, and Hasting\’s Facebook page wasn\’t on that list.

So, how can we ensure that our employees are behaving the right way online?  Here are some steps you can take.

6 Steps to ensure employees behave online

  1. Acceptance – Ok, the first step is acceptance.  You need to accept that you can\’t control everything, and mistakes will happen.  It\’s one thing to have a social media policy, but in reality very few will read that, so it\’s important to deal with the real world rather than the ideal world.
  2. Focus – The next step is to figure out what it is that you want to do online.  What is the purpose of your social work?  This should be something that\’s directly linked to your organisational goals, and is something you can measure.
  3. Adopters – The next step is to see how employees across your organisation can help you with that goal, and then bring these people into a social business team.  It\’s likely that these people will be early adopters of the kind of thing you\’re trying to do.
  4. Train – You\’ll then need to train these people.  Remember your purpose?  That\’s the key here.  Train your team on what is expected of them, how what they\’re doing benefits the organisation, and how it benefits them in their personal careers.
  5. Measure – Measurement is key because without it, it\’s impossible to know if you\’re doing a good job or not.  You should try and break down your measurements by each member of the team so you can see who\’s performing and who isn\’t.
  6. Adapt – Finally with the insight gained from measuring you should adapt things accordingly.  This may involve providing more training, changing personnel or even changing direction completely.  Flexibility is key here as you become a sense and respond organisation.

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