When Should Personal and Corporate Social Media Accounts Collide?

Skill DevelopmentWorkplace Success

Do you ask employees to represent your brand on their personal social media and if so, do you give them any guidance?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1. Ask Nothing Beyond LinkedIn

“We ask each of our employees to use the same company boilerplate description on LinkedIn, but we do not dictate any other social networks. We love it when our employees share posts from our company’s social accounts, but we never request it. Because employees make their own decisions about sharing content, posts shared are authentic and come across that way to each employee’s network.”

Brittany Hodak, ‘ZinePak

2. Trust Your Gut

“At RTC, we encourage sharing our clients’ and staff’s stories and victories on social media. And our policy is simple: trust your gut. People know what’s OK to post and what’s not. When you’ve worked to create a loving culture powered by vulnerability and kindness, you don’t need a social media policy.”

Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

3. Make Your Team Aware They Represent the Company

“We do not mandate that anyone post on social media. But all of our teammates are aware that they represent Modify at all times. Because of our high-touch service, customers know who we are, and our team knows that we need to always put forward a respectful attitude. The side benefit of a diverse team — with diverse messages — is that the Modify “brand” becomes that much more textured.”

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

4. Don’t Force It

“We don’t ask our employees to represent the brand on personal pages because we don’t want to infringe on a space that may be personal and/or private to them. Our employees share content about the brand on their own — things they find exciting. We prefer brand advocacy like that to be organic rather than for it to feel forced.”

Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize

5. Encourage Active Participation

“As a real estate company, we realize that our agents ARE the brand. We encourage them to be extremely active on their personal social media and mention their affiliation with us as much as they would like.”

Kuba Jewgieniew, Realty ONE Group

6. Don’t Share It If You Couldn’t Say It in a Meeting

“Every employee is in sales and is an ambassador of your company. Social media is a natural extension of that and a powerful one. We coordinate tweets and LinkedIn posts as a company. But as a reminder, these are public channels. If you wouldn’t like your manager to hear you say it in front of customers at a meeting, you wouldn’t want them to read it online either.”

Trevor Sumner, LocalVox

7. Don’t Try to Create Brand Ambassadors by Force

“I’m proud to say that we have a strong company culture. Each of our workers truly care about the success of this company. I do let them know that their participation in social media is valued but never mandatory. You can’t create brand ambassadors by force — it just doesn’t work that way. They have to be invested.”

Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

8. Encourage LinkedIn Postings

“We believe in employee engagement on several levels, and social media is no exception. If we have a new job posting, we encourage our employees to post the new position on their LinkedIn pages. We guide them to this outlet because, in most cases, LinkedIn is a reputable source of legitimate work experience.”

Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing