Yesterday, we covered how to handle bickering employees in a smart, sensible way. Today, we turn our eyes to more general interactions on…the Internet.
We’ve covered this in some detail on BizEngine, our sibling blog, where we’ve examined why ill-trained employees can be ticking time bombs for employers. Put a gregarious employee unfamiliar with company policy or a platform like Twitter out there and enjoy the fireworks! Or don’t, because the results can be embarrassing.
Let’s explore what can go wrong and how you can sidestep problems through the magic of training.
Most employees make mistakes of simple ignorance. Take, for example, the Chrysler fiasco. An employee hired to manage the company’s Twitter efforts accidentally dropped the F-bomb on the car company’s account, a mistake that he made while trying to post something to a personal account. An employee of the Red Cross did the same thing. In both cases, it was just messing up which Twitter account it went to. Ultimately, they were public relations embarrassments for both companies.
Now, there are more willful mistakes, such as an employee saying something offensive because they’re disgruntled. That’s harder to control. The mistakes that arise from posting to the wrong account, sending a general Tweet instead of a direct message or posting something to a company page on LinkedIn that was meant for a personal page. These mistakes only have to be made once to become a major problem.
Fortunately, they’re easy to fight.
Training, training and more training. I’m not saying you should lock your employees in a box with a computer and have them train for a week, but you can’t send them out into the wilderness alone.
Use examples like Chrysler and Red Cross to drive home the importance of watching what you say and write online. Go over your company’s Internet policy—you do have one, right?—and ensure that employees understand what they need to do to comply with it. Have them use resources like our humble blog, BizEngine, HubSpot, etc. to understand smart social media strategies. If you do this before your employees ever touch your company’s Twitter account, you could just save yourself a lot of trouble.
Do you train employees on social media use? Join the conversation in the comments or on our Twitter account.