• Social Media & Human Resources: fire and frying pan

  • by Judy Sailer

    You would think that something that was made to connect humans would be good.  Not so much in the field of human resources.  Here are some tips to help you through some social nightmares.

    The best defense is a good offense.  

    Have a policy for your company and staff on social media.  Do not leave yourself open to potential problems.  Start off right with a policy that protects your company and image from disgruntled employees and make sure YOU follow it!

    In business treat everyone consistently with respect and honesty.  As we all know poor customer service can give anyone the right to complain to 5000 of their closest friends about you and your company.   Make sure your staff and you always have the customer in mind and work to close the deal.

    Know what’s out there about you, your staff and your company.

    Companies like Geico have to monitor the social media spectrum.  They found several years ago that disgruntled staff had started not only social media sites but websites to complain out them.  Not smart.  Sharing your opinion is one thing but defamation of character is another.

    Do not ever ask for the passwords to someone’s social media account in an interview.

    It is against the law right now and will get you serious trouble.  Be aware you don’t have to ask for the passwords to search for them on social media and view anything you find.  To be honest with all the changes to policies on social media most users are still sharing a lot of information with strangers.

    Don’t do anything you don’t want showing up on the front page of the newspaper…or the website. 

    Any event you attend where alcohol is served is a chance for bad press for you and your company.  Don’t allow “negative” photos to be taken.  Make sure everyone knows that no “negative” images of you should be posted.  You are your company, you have to protect it as the employer and employee.

    Remember that the internet is FOREVER and that is a long time!

    No matter what you do every post, tweet and email can be found again by someone searching hard enough.  Everyone has a voice and that does not mean that they are right.  When you find something that is derogatory about you or your company you can refute the statements.  Comment, re-tweet your side but be professional.  You and your accuser can both be wrong or you can save your company and career and keep your clients.

    And the best advice I found in my research was by Suzanne Lucas, if you are feeling defensive, it’s time to shut up.  Sometimes we just want to go round for round and that can lead to only more trouble.  Being defense can only lead to one of you saying something that will last forever and give potential clients the wrong impression about you and your company.