I’ll admit it…I’m on Facebook a lot.  Being a web professional, it is important for me to be a part of the Facebook community.  Because of this I see a lot of activity from all sorts of people, businesses and organizations.  One thing that I have been seeing more and more of lately is people who are unhappy with their jobs or that complain about the customers that they encounter while at work.  This activity got me to thinking…How does a social media account of someone that works for you and you have relatively little control over affect your business?  I think a significant amount.

Current or potential customers may see what your employees are saying and because of that it can affect your business quite a bit!  Imagine if an employee at ABC company posts about how stupid he/she thinks the clientele is that comes into the store that they work at.  What customer in their right mind would want to support a place of business that thinks that their customers are idiots?!  Sure the post may not come right out and say “At ABC company the clients are idiots,”, but on many accounts people have in their “About” section the place that they work.  It doesn’t take much to put two and two together.  And once someone has a negative impression of a brand, it tends to stick around for a while.  This is what we try to avoid when marketing our businesses.

What can you do about it?

Educate your employees.  Tell them how their words can affect your business and their jobs.  Teach them that it is inappropriate to speak about such things on the internet when trying to run a business.  Encourage them to post only positive things about where they work (or nothing at all).  Many people don’t think before they speak and are oblivious to what damage their words can do.  Take the opportunity to broaden their perspective.  Not only for the benefit of your business or brand, but for the benefit of future endeavors of your employees.