What is wrong with multiple employees creating multiple social media accounts? (In the company’s name)
For one, it can make the business look silly and unprofessional. Professionalism and Reputation are of primary importance in order to win the battle for online customers today. And if the company’s employees are creating self-styled versions of the company across the Internet, it could put people off, and perhaps encourage them to shop elsewhere. And that has a direct cost in lost sales.
Sales and marketing oriented employees probably see no risk in social media. To these types, there is only upside to more exposure. However business owners should take a more balanced view. A clear understanding of the down-side to social media should cause even the giddy to sober-up.
Here is only one now famous faux pax if you need an example of what can go wrong when employees create social content online. The losses can be in the millions for large companies, but no business thinks any losses are inevitable or acceptable because of inappropriate employee behavior.
And it doesn’t have to be so blatantly stupid (as the above example) to costs too much. If the potential customer sees only an unprofessional online representation of the company, that may be enough to cause damage in lost sales.
We want to focus here on the effect this has on search engine results. Can the employee cause damage to the search rank of the company and thereby loose business by creating a social media account? The answer is absolutely, yes.
When multiple employees create their very own version of the company’s social media profile, this duplication can cause the search engines to suspect foul-play. Imagine each employee gets the bright idea to create (in the company’s name) a Google+ Page, a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and a Printrest account, then multiply that by how many employees? What could possibly go wrong?
(We assume) The company already has appropriate social media accounts. A duplicate is not better than one. If there are many, Google now thinks you are trying to con them into giving you double the visitors (or something smells fishy). That is why it is generally called SPAM. And this can cost the business search rank, which equates to fewer visitors, which means fewer sales. (Many search engines are not as particular as Google, but Google delivers @70% of your natural traffic. So we must understand how Google sees things.)
The business that gets the top spot in search results is the business that has 100% correct and correlated data online. That means clean, organized, one of everything, T’s crossed and i’s dotted and maybe even optimized for search engines. This is a clear case where quality wins and excess can hurt.
Employee Policy in the Age of Social Media
The employee is not the owner of the business. But a social media account gives them just such status. In light of this understanding, there is only one way a business can treat social media.
Daniel Handman of employment law firm Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP told Bloomberg Law, “social media policies are now just as necessary for employers as discrimination, leave, and vacation policies.”