Socially empowering your employees-What’s taking so long?



We talk and write about the ways to grow a business using social ALOT. Companies are obsessing over it. Even the really really big companies want to harness the promise of the prospect, the power of the existing customer and the potential of repeat business-All using social media.

Yesterday, I was talking to a manager of one of those really really big companies. We talked about empowering their employees to engage in outbound social media marketing- That’s a fancy sentence for basically letting your employees tweet and share things about the company on company time. The comment back was, “They are hourly employees, “We can’t do that-We can’t trust what they might say”…

That sentiment is not on an island.

Two days ago I was talking to a salaried employee of another large company who told me that they could not access Facebook from their work computers. Two thoughts came to mind. One-employees can use their mobile devices at any time to circumvent those rules and two, there is a lack of trust coupled with a fear factor of what that employee might do that is preventing this company from taming the social beast.

I mention the 2 scenarios because in both situations we’re talking about employees both salaried and hourly, in which trust is a huge issue.

How do you leverage the power of what your employees can do for you in social media in order to grow your company? Your customers would welcome the socially empowered employee representing your company. We are entering a time in which it is expected and in some cases demanded.

What is the exception and what is the rule? The rogue employee using social media or the empowered one representing all that is good about your company?

5 thoughts on “Socially empowering your employees-What’s taking so long?

  1. We all fear what we don’t fully understand, it’s intrinsic to the human nature after all.
    I wouldn’t (and I won’t) freely let employees talk on behalf of my company in social media, but I don’t block them from doing it once they are properly “educated” – I hate this term, but I lack a better one – about the issue.
    I strongly believe your social media strategy should include your employees as much as possible, but they shouldn’t let alone in doing this, without some guidance or a well stated policy.

  2. Marc,

    True. I wonder if the issue is what they will say or that they are potentially wasting time. If its the latter, we should ban cell phones, IM, and access to Google and gmail as well. Its just not realistic. I finally started looking at my employees billable time and their ability to meet deadlines. And you know what. Its great.

    And on a side note, anyone who uses Lego to illustrate a blog is OK in my book.


  3. @gabrielle hit the nail on the head! Some companies dont realise the value of their employees in terms of them being the face of the company.

    Another point is that companies should be deploying social media tools in the workplace to help employees collaborate and share information. I know a lot of companies have implemented social media tools but I dont think its as widespread as it should be. It all comes down the same thing… control!

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