There have been plenty of embarrassing news stories about businesses that ended up being associated with the inappropriate comments or the actions of employees on social media. This is always a risk. Most businesses make an effort to lock down their social media pages very tightly to make certain that they aren’t used for malicious purposes. There are some real benefits in allowing your employees to have independent voices on social media and allowing them to associate themselves with your business, in some instances. Reporters If you run a blog that makes its money publishing the news, you may want to consider letting your reporters associate their social media profiles with that of your business. Quite often, reporters build up a following of their own. They may not always say the types of things that your business would say in a social media update, but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily disadvantageous to give them their own voices. Remember that the Internet is not a place where people are forgiving to those who err on the side of being too bland. Adding a little bit of spice to your Internet presence may do some real good in terms of promotion. Experts If you have a company that produces a specialized product or product that has a lot of technical aspects to it, allowing the experts in your company to interact with people on your social media accounts might be a good idea. For example, if your company produces software and one of the engineers is able to interact with people and answer their questions, it gives people a tremendous amount of access to the inner workings of the company in a very positive way. There are plenty of ways that you can leverage this to improve your social media presence. Using the example of a news site, allowing people to interact with reporters could allow reporters to clarify points they made in their original reporting, to add updates to it and so forth. You can do many creative things by allowing your employees a bit more freedom in interacting with the people who follow you on social media sites. On Recruiting and Job Search Websites Most businesses forget that during a job search, your potential employee isn’t the only one selling themselves to your company; you are also selling your company to a potential employee. This is especially true when you are trying to attract the top talent in your industry (which you should always be doing) because these people are often so good they can choose to work almost anywhere. Of course, you saying what a great company you have isn’t going to cut it all as companies pump up their values and downplay your negative qualities. Due to this, most potential employees won’t believe a word you say. They will, however, believe what your current employees say about your company on social media. These are the “real people” in your organization and they can accurately describe your working culture. While you can hope that most of their posts will highlight positive aspects of your company, if every post tells people how great your company is then a potential employee won’t believe it any more than the self-congratulating posts you put in your job ads. Make sure that your employees know that it’s ok to say some negative things (after all, no company is perfect). Just make sure that what your employees say isn’t damaging to the company or too bad, or it can dissuade a potential employee from taking a job with your company. On Your Site Don’t forget to carry this over into the one venue where you have the most power: your own website. Many WordPress templates allow the administrators to set up different authors with different profiles and, using some social media services, you can actually get these authors associated with their content on search engines. This makes it easier for the public to get information on your company and, importantly, it makes it easier for the press to get information on your company and to source that information to somebody without sending emails or doing telephone interviews. To Highlight Your Employees Achievements While most employees will respond positively to an extrinsic reward (such as more money or more time off), in this economy it may not always be possible to give your employees a raise or increase their performance. The good thing is, most employees are also as motivated by intrinsic rewards such as recognition. Recognition that takes place in front of other employees is particularly useful as a motivational tool because it makes your employee feel appreciated and encourages your other employees to work harder (so that they too can be recognized for their achievements). Unfortunately, public recognition is difficult because gathering everyone in your division, much less your company, together for a meeting that recognizes the outstanding work is all but impossible due to conflicting schedules. Social media is a great place for this recognition because not only does it allow everyone to view the achievement of your employee, it also allows the “higher-ups” in the company to recognize low-level employees. This enhances the feeling that your company’s management cares about employees and offers them the ability to notice potential great employees they otherwise would never get into contact with. Word From The Top Some CEOs and high ranking corporate officials become celebrities in and of themselves. Steve Jobs is an excellent example of this, as is Bill Gates. Having such individuals maintain their own social media profiles is a great way to tailor the image of the company that you’re putting out there. It’s also excellent for quashing rumors. One of the big disadvantages of the way the Internet works is that it allows silly rumors to get publicized so many times and so quickly that they become commonly accepted as truths. Having one of the senior people in a company make a statement via social media that something being said about the company is absolutely untrue, is a great way for the company to control information and to control its image. Images: ”Group of Business People Learning About Social Media/Shutterstock.com“ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.