Employees Using Social Media

If you look at the various internet usage polices in American companies, you’ll find that approximately 50% of them ban workers from social networking sites.  So no Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn whilst you are working please.  However if you look at the most highly rated, best companies to work for in the US then just about all of them embrace the use of these websites.  In fact many of them actively encourage employees to promote and represent their brand through their own online presences.

So instead of having a blanket ban and a few furtive employees who use things like VPNs and proxies to bypass these policies – just like this post explains – http://www.proxyusa.com/usvpn.  You have people openly promoting and spreading the word about your products, your brand and services in a very natural way across the internet.

Companies themselves spend millions of dollars a year paying experts to promote their brand online.  The more you are talked about on the internet the better and your employees are a perfect way to facilitate this.  The important point is that it’s a very natural and effective way to promote your brand.

Interflora last week discovered that attempting to artificially boost your online presence can be a very risky tactic.  The online florist has a hugely powerful website which ranked very highly in Googles search rankings.  They achieved this through very aggressive tactics of engaging bloggers to promote their brand for payment or products.  They wrote them letters and emails with various offers and promotions in exchange for links back to their site.   The Search giant doesn’t like this open manipulation of one of it’s major ranking factors – links back to a website and they took action and blasted the Interflora website into Google oblivion.

The cost in lost sales will undoubtably be enormous for the company depending on whether they can regain  their rankings.  The fact is that their practices where well known to be against the spirit of Google’s algorithm and have they paid a heavy price.