Let ‘Em Be: How Embracing Employees’ Personal Social Media Can Help Your Business

It took a while for social media to catch on and for companies to see it as the viable exposure opportunity it has become. Once it did catch on however, there was no stopping it. Unfortunately, that means many social media accounts weren’t ran responsibly and context rarely has a place in the realm of a newsfeed. This lead many businesses to come to one conclusion: employee posts must be censored and restricted in order to ensure business success. Or, businesses attempt to incorporate all their employees into the same social media world. An employee may have a business account and a personal account and never the twain shall meet. However, is that a good thing? At Visual Caffeine, we argue that it isn’t. Why? Well, for several reasons.
From a human resource viewpoint, it stifles creativity in the workplace. If your employees are fearing for their stability due to something they’ve posted, they’ll end up rejecting social media altogether, or a great employee will opt to leave in order to escape the impending doom. From a financial perspective, you’re losing business. Your employees were hired because they were capable, courteous individuals who brought something new to the office. Their social media accounts display their interests, their causes and their opinions. And guess what? That helps you reach out to a greater audience via their friends and family. They may not follow your page, but they’ll follow your employee’s.
Now of course there’s concern as to whether they are posting derogatory words about their job, but that always comes to light–just ask any of the thousands of fired employees who were found to be doing just that–there are a lot of them out there. Also, letting your employees operate their own accounts gives you a non-judgmental environment in which to talk to them. However, if several of your employees are posting horrendous things about your business, then maybe you’re not seeing what they are seeing. In fact, encouraging interoffice friendships through social media is a key way to prevent that type of negative exposure. Let your employees be who they are—allow the diversity to flow through the office and let them connect in a comfortable atmosphere. There’s no worse employee than one who feels extremely pressured at the keyboard.
Finally, it promotes your company as valuing the work/life balance. If someone posts a photo of their family, or their weekend plans, and then heralds the new business campaign, you’re opening up yourself to being humanized to several individuals. Let your employees embrace their life through social media and they will also embrace their work. At the end of the day it’s a job. Don’t try to make it more or less. And if you embrace the unknown individuality you might just find yourself surrounded by not only employees and colleagues, but friends as well.
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