Do you keep your employees in cages or are they allowed to interact with the public?

by Stephanie A. Lloyd on May 9, 2009 · 3 comments

in Branding,Career Carnival Blogging Event,Customer Service,I work in HR,Management,Media,Networking,Radio,Social Media,Workplace Issues

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion on social media in the workplace on Gravity Free Radio with Erik Wolf, Stephanie Frost, and Sean Nelson.

Many human resources executives and business owners are struggling with embracing social media as a communication venue, fearing that associates will expose damaging information.

What they don’t realize is that the conversation is taking place now and it will continue with or without them.

During the discussion I asked, “Do these companies keep their employees in cages or do they allow them to interact with the public?”

photo by f_mafra

photo by f_mafra

If companies choose to ignore rather than participate the vacuum created by their absence will be filled and they may or may not like the result. By engaging in a positive way companies have the opportunity to guide the discussion about their brand rather than allow others to do it for them.

Social media is a dynamic communication and branding tool and companies should be proactive in coaching their employees as to how to use it. Managed well it can be a fantastic vehicle for promoting your company in positive and genuine way. Zappos has embraced social media in a bold way and incorporates Twitter into its corporate culture. Comcast is an excellent example of a company that is utilizing social media to deliver customer service in a whole new way and they are turning disgruntled customers in to raving fans.

We all agreed that while social networking is relatively new and may seem like a big mystery to some, several years from now it will be just as natural as using email or the telephone. It’s simply another way to connect and communicate.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Hosted by Erik Wolf + Stephanie Frost in Atlanta, Georgia, Gravity Free Radio is for entrepreneurs who don’t like being weighed down by old ideas. The weekly show features guests + free advice for business owners.
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