Regardless of your industry, your customers and employees are living more of their lives virtually every day. You have almost limitless ways to connect with your customers and show off your company.
Unfortunately, with good things comes the potential for bad to follow. As everything becomes more digital, the opportunity for a negative online experience also grows. You can rest assured even if you aren’t talking about yourself online someone, somewhere is.
It’s key you have policies and procedures to monitor what’s being shared about your organization and by whom. Your company needs a structured way to deal with online expressions. And, your employees need a clearly defined outline of what to avoid and consequences of misbehavior online.
Develop A Robust, Flexible Internet Policy
All employees need to be aware of your Middle Market firm’s expectations and guidelines for online use and the consequences of misuse.
Your policy should be brief, flexible and cover most online communications and situations.
While you need to have the depth to cover a lot of ground, your policy needs to be straightforward, easily understandable and something that can grow and change as your company does.
The goal of documenting and enforcing these policies should not be to stifle ingenuity or make it impossible for your employees to share anything about your company – they will often be your best brand ambassadors if they have the chance.
Monitor Internet Chatter
Even if you aren’t concerned with your employees, it is a good idea for your Middle Market firm to engage in monitoring activities online.
Obviously, you need ways to consistently monitor and track interactions and a single employee or department is not going to be sufficient. There are simple, effective ways to keep your ear to the ground as well as products and companies that can assist. Implementing a range of resources is a good route to take – relying on any one source can be just as bad as not doing anything.
How To Benefit From Employee’s Activities
Until now, this article has likely brought up a little anxiety in you, but it isn’t all bleak online.
Your employees are a great potential asset to your company. They can provide you fantastic opportunities to shine a light on your culture, beliefs and “intangible” benefits.
So, while you need to watch what they are doing and you certainly want to provide some structure and guidelines to their activities, tightening the reins to the point they can’t have any expression about your company is not the route to take.
Let your employees know you value their input and online communications. Share the vision for your online presence and how they can fit into it. Make sure they understand how to engage with others online and when to notify someone else about something they see.
Regularly share with your employees what your firm is planning and anything you’d like their increased participation in. Help make it easy for them to share status updates, images, and brand information online.
Setting your Middle Market company up for online success needs to involve developing, implementing and refining a robust and flexible online policy for employees’ internet activity.
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