It pays to read the comments under articles in your favorite publications. The Wall Street Journal published an article recently entitled Your Employee is an Online Celebrity: Now What Do You Do? and I was dazzled by one of the responses.
The main point of the article is that employees are building their own brands on social media while also representing their company’s brand. The Journal lays out the pluses and minuses for companies. As those of you who follow my posts know, I’m a firm believer in engaging your employees as brand advocates.
I was about to leave a comment under the article when I noticed quite a long comment from Chuck Hollis, who writes that he is a “co-branded employee at a global technology company that encourages and supports social proficiency as a win/win for everyone.” That company is EMC Corporation, a $20 billion global cloud computing organization. In the humorous and informative video below, EMC describes why it’s important for companies to partner with its employees on social media.
In his Wall Street Journal comment, Mr. Hollis extolled the virtues of enabling employees to be active on social media:
“To give you a sense of scale, we have several hundred co-branded employees who blog, and many thousands of unofficial brand managers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Collectively, it’s a very valuable capability…The issues raised around brand alignment and content ownership haven’t been concerns in our situation. Personal and corporate brands tend to align very well for most of our employees, and most content creators are flattered and honored when the corporation decides to reuse — and thus promote — their content.”
EMC has an internal social network for employee collaboration and an external social network allowing access to 250,000 customers and employees. Customers can connect directly with employees on this interactive channel.
So there you have it — an informed response to the question posed by many organizations who are sitting on the fence or even forbidding their employees to use social media:
Should we allow our employees to post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social networks? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
How about your company? Have you partnered with your employees on social media? I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comment box below.