Women In Business

You’ve got this: Twitter finger follies

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

Question:  One of our staff is very active on social media, and tends to get into political arguments on there with people, both on Facebook and Twitter. I would never want to stop people airing their views, but the arguments get very heated, and sometimes quite unpleasant. This is of course outside their role, and is mostly done during their own time (lunchtimes etc). But it’s not the time that is bothering me. It’s the tone. The staff member can be easily identified with our brand, as they have an unusual name. In fact, they’re probably the only person with that name on the internet. I am worried that it will end up in blowback for my business. But how can I ask somebody to stop doing something that is personal and on their own time? JA

JA:

Here are some reminders of individuals who used social media to their detriment impacting their companies and ultimately, their employment:

Justine Sacco

Nikolaos Balaskas

Talia Jane

Scott Bartosiewicz

Kate Nash

Connor Riley

Anonymous

Kaitlyn Walls

The list goes on and on of individuals who initially thought their opinions were private and personal.  Whether we like it or not, even when we are off the clock, we represent our companies and their brands.  I am finding that more and more individuals are posting that the opinions on their pages are personal and do not reflect those of their companies.  The reality is that people often attack the companies where individuals work or who they are doing business with.  When the lady in San Francisco pretended to call the police on the girl selling water in front of her building, Twitterverse began to reach out to the companies that sold her product.  She lost major contracts and stepped down from her role as CEO as a result.  The YouTube employee that was filmed calling the police on a gentleman waiting on his disabled friend at an apartment complex resulted in individuals reaching out to YouTube calling for his termination.

These decisions did not take place necessarily during work time but the impact had repercussions for the company and ultimately, either backlash or termination for the employee/business owner.  Social media is not private.  There are public ramifications for what we post.  The best thing a company can do is create a policy regarding social media usage.  You can’t control what a person does after hours but you can try to implement policies that can mitigate possible damage from loose lips and keyboard activists.  Find out the policies that are in your country regarding social media and evaluate the policies of other companies that are similar.  A great resource is the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).  Their policy is quite comprehensive and could be a starting point for your organization.   You are not alone, JA.  This is an issue companies are wrestling with to address and resolve.  Twenty years ago, this wasn’t a problem but as technology continues to expand our horizons, these new situations will arise in both our professional and personal lives.  You. Got. This.

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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