You can avoid employee social disasters

Craig Rodney Submitted by on the 8th of January 2016

 

We’re just a week into 2016 and employee social media utterances are already dominating the media and bringing their employers into disrepute. There is no more questioning it; companies urgently have to take responsibility and train their employees on effective social media use.

In case you missed three of the big social media cases from this month already:
Penny Sparrow from Jawitz Properties
Chris Hart from Standard Bank
Velaphi Khumalo from Gauteng Government

Social media has historically been a marketing concern because of customer service complaints, but its pervasiveness and exponential impact on brands reaches deep into HR and risk departments, and is now an executive level concern.

It gets worse though. If your business is regulated or listed, your exposure skyrockets.

You can’t stop employees from using their personal social media accounts, and you cannot disassociate your brand from their personal social media behaviour. Under South African law, your business can be held liable from your employee’s social media actions. Their online actions are absolutely your problem and your responsibility. You have to come to terms with this before disaster strikes.

Companies need to dispel the myth that a social media policy covers and protects employees and the organisation because it simply doesn’t. A social media policy is merely a guideline for use, one which most employees sign without reading or understanding. Without deliberate employee training, the policy will not protect your business from a social media catastrophe. And when (not if) those catastrophes happen, they are only a solution after the fact – when the damage is already done.

Training employees for responsible, effective social media use is no longer a choice. Leading business minds at Forbes and the Harvard Business Review will tell you exactly the same thing, and have been doing so for years.

This reality is the driving force behind the Cerebra Academy, an online social media academy delivering five courses addressing everything from social media risk to social media for executives. Prevention is always better than cure, and the Academy is designed to equip your employees with the knowledge to make sound judgement calls in their personal capacity, and also on behalf of the brand.

You can either sign up your employees to the Cerebra Academy, or deliver customised Academy content via your own internal learning management system. Either way, you have to train your employees and take your brand off the waiting list for next big social media disaster.

Download the Academy Info Pack for more info on a social media education solution for your business, or contact academy@cerebra.co.za for a proposal.