Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Foreign Policy

Social Media Policy is a buzz phrase right now. It seems like every time we read the news we hear about another fight between companies and employees about social media. Disgruntled people complaining about their bosses on Facebook, marketers tweeting personal opinions from the company account by accident, you name the scenario and it’s happened somewhere. Companies are starting to realize that their employees represent their brand, even on private platforms. That makes them want control over what employees broadcast.

Whether to implement a social media policy is the dilemma employers are facing. What to include in it is even trickier. How can a brand manage its reputation without limiting freedom of speech? It’s new territory and companies are struggling with it.

It’s hard to say what should be included in a social media policy, and we don’t claim to be the experts in any way. But we do think one thing is easy to change, and can even be sponsored by the company: Social Media Profile Photos.

Think about it. When someone calls you, whether they’re selling something, requesting a proposal or recruiting you, you google them. The first things that come up are often their work website, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile. Imagine if the photo was of them in a hot dog eating contest. Some could find it funny, but you never know what clients you could alienate with an inappropriate photo, so why risk it? Those first impressions are so important, especially to a small business. They attract, or repel, customers.

So while creating a social media policy is complicated, it’s important that your employees represent the brand on public channels. We suggest paying for professional social media photos to be taken. It’s a great way to update your website. Plus, since they’ll look so fantastic, employees will want them on their public Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. As for private accounts or Facebook pages, that’s a trickier line to cross. Companies will have to decide on a case by case basis. But provide employees with a great photo, and we think they’ll post it wherever they can!

So why not do something for your employees that will make them happy, and will help you attract the right customers?

Photo Credits by WealthAdvisor.com

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Our Photo Fabulous You team focuses on professional women move ahead in their professional life, by helping them look and feel more confident in person and in photographs.