Why More of Your Employees Should Be On Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

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Why aren’t more companies leveraging the power of social networking?

Here are the obstacles:

  • They don’t understand the benefits
  • They are afraid to empower employees who don’t normally network or market or represent the company
  • There’s no nationally recognized solution for training Fortune 1000 companies how to do this

So let’s go through these point by point.

The Benefits of Social Networking for Your Company

Here’s where I’m going to tell you WHY you should let more of your key people use Twitter and Facebook as agents of your company.

  • Marketing/PR: Build Brand Awareness and Manage Company Image
  • New Business: Find Business Opportunities and Expand Into New Markets
  • Innovation: Inspire and Drive Innovation
  • Customer Retention: Increase Customer Loyalty

If you read through those functions carefully, you’ll see a lot of your corporate goals.

Social networking works on many fronts:

  1. Get new ways to get marketing and PR messages out
  2. Learn from your customers
  3. Provide customer service to people who fell through the  cracks of your existing customer service approach
  4. Prevent negative word of mouth by meeting problems in the public arena

Your employees get to talk to peers, which…

  1. Keeps them on their toes,
  2. Continues their education (they hear about the latest ideas, products, and tactics), and
  3. Gives them an opportunity to lead the industry in their role.

Fear of More Employees in The Public Eye

This I completely understand. Not everyone at your company should be in the public eye. Not everyone can do Social Networking well, not everyone has the talents to be good at it and some people are just going to embarrass the heck out of you.

So let’s start with this idea:

More of your employees should be on Twitter and Facebook using Social Networking to benefit your company. But not all your employees. And some should be forbidden from doing it.

If only those who have the talent and training are doing it, if they’ve taken a class and are following the policies you’ve developed, then what’s left to fear?

Could even savvy, trained, professional employees make a huge gaffe that turns into a PR nightmare and causes your stock price to plummet?


Look at the Motrin Moms blowback. Even the negative opinions social media moms had about Motrin didn’t affect their bottom line or stock price.

Brian Carter
Brian is author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook and Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook's Features For Your Marketing Campaigns, How to... Read Full Bio
Brian Carter
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  • Camella Lobo

    Brian, you make a great case as to why company's should encourage their qualified employees to exist on their social media channels. Just wanted to add a quick point to the list of reasons:

    Getting more of your employees involved in your social media output also displays a more well-rounded perspective of your company. For instance, if you're a web company, getting your developers, producers and designers to maintain a social media presence under your company brings so much more diversified talent and expertise to your authority and brand. And, it shows off their talent!

    • suzanne

      That's a good point, Camella. But how do I respond to a client who is hesitant to show off their employee talent for fear their employees will get poached by a competitor? Thanks for your insight!

      • Kat

        Suzanne. You can let your client know that whether their employees are utilizing the social media space or not there is always a chance another company can poach them. The key is to treat your employees well, offer them a competitive salary and give them a place to thrive. In encouraging them to use social media, they will not only present the business in a a positive light for potential clients but also for potential employees.

      • briancarter

        If you aren't offering equivalent value to employees for their value, you deserve to get poached 🙂 If you are, then let them shine in public.

  • Hippy Hop

    There are advantages and disadvantages getting your people involved in social media. True that they can help spread your brand but they can also destroy your brand by not acting according to your company’s standard. Weigh in first the advantages as I see more disadvantage than advantage for the company as a whole. I mean not all companies should have it.

  • uniqueseo

    Now a day’s social media is a good platform for promoting the company and its products. Company never take initiation to encourage employees use twitter, facebook etc because this activity will affect on the productivity of the company. Employees will misuse the official I think ,therefore Company doesn’t encourage employees to take part in social media activities.

    • Al

      I think the danger is that you have to be sure that you have a good reputation offline as well as online before you encourage staff to join in the debate. Only this morning I read a tweet from a company boasting about how good their online reputation is, yet only yesterday I had lunch with one of their employees who hadn;t got a good word to say about them, and they are far from alone in feeling that way about the company in question right now.

  • Online Marketing

    I agree with that most of the people from any company should be in social media sites.

    • Charlie Davenport

      So, if most of the people in the company should be allowed to log into social media sites, how do you account for the time spent there for people in inventory control, payroll processing, data entry, secretarial pool, and other labor intensive but not customer interfacing positions?

      Yes, there is a great need for companies to be involved, but there is a greater need for all activity to have a business focus. That is what people are there for during the day, is it not?

      “Tom, do you have the bid ready that we must submit with the next few minutes?”
      Tom, “Gee, no, but did you see what they just twittered about our company being slow to respond to RFP's?”

  • Hotmew

    I agree with that most of the people above.

  • Kathy

    I think that small businesses are better off designating one office employee for handling the majority of the social media tasks for the company. That employee should be on the same page with management as far as what kind of image the company wants to project. Allowing every employee to interact with the public to a great extent on behalf of the company is probably a recipe for disaster.

  • Mark Thompson

    Brian, Great Post!

    I think when it comes to getting more employees involved in the companies social media strategy, it comes down to training and the culture. If you provide the proper training and motivtion for employees, they are much more likely to want to participate.

    Setting clear and concise guidelines for what the employees can and can't discuss will help in controlling what information is being published. Of course the more transparent your company can be, the better…so it is important to try and not limit your employees as to what they can discuss.

  • Svisio

    I agree with the reasoning above. We have had difficulty with viruses coming through Facebook. We modified our social media policy to remind employees not to click links or ads in Facebook. Even that will not eliminate our exposure, but the Facebook security issues can cost companies real money.