Dealing with Employee Social Media Screw-Ups

Posted August 27, 2010 in Uncategorized by Arthur Buono

The bounds and benefits of social media as business tool keep expanding. We’ve seen enough already to know also that employees can create some really bad publicity through ill-conceived tweets, updates and the like. Today Mashable offers a great primer on preventing and handling employee social media faux pas.

  • Employee social media use a big concern for employers
  • Having policies in place to prevent and repair social media damage essential
  • Knee-jerk reactions can make a bad situation worse


Prevention, Response to Social Media Lapses Key

First, a business needs both proactive and reactive policies. Job one is to prevent miscommunications from occurring in the first place. Employees should be trained about what’s good and bad social media form. Interestingly, denial and arbitrary targeted monitoring of employee social media use is discouraged. Social media burps are inevitable though. Job two is to have a sound and reasoned response and remediation policy. You don’t want to make an already awkward situation worse.

Best practices continue to evolve. We’ve already seen instances of employees being fired for social media comments. Companies have also rescinded offers to potential hires who showed poor social media form. Overreaction carries publicity risks too, the article warns.

Employers are used to grappling with the productivity and security issues of employee Internet use. Many companies also monitor employee email use. Of course disgruntled employees can cause havoc, but possibly greater harm can come from simply careless sharing of company information by poorly-trained and uninformed employees.

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