Why Companies Should Monitor What Their Employees Say on Twitter

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Even if your employees aren’t talking about company business, your industry or anything remotely related to their jobs, should you care what they are saying on Twitter?

YES.

In this day an age, where the internet has become extremely transparent, and it is very easy to connect people to their employees through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even simple search engines, knowing what your employers are doing is important risk management.

Your company’s culture and persona is much the result of your employees and how they act – it’s also how they treat others. If your employees are making derogatory comments on Facebook, using racial slurs on Twitter and bullying individuals in forums, how does that represent your company?

While there may or may not be legal ramifications, most states have at-will employment laws which means employees can typically be fired for any reason (so long as it is not discrimination against a protected class) at any time.

Helping your employees understand the ramifications of their public personae on their career aspects is a great way to coach staff of all ages in a positive manner without being threatening. You have to let employees make mistakes – that is how you separate your leaders from the rest of the bunch.  And your staff will learn quickly.

I was inspired to write this post as I am a die-hard Washington Capitals fan. The recent racial slurs against one of Washington’s players, Joel Ward, resulted in a bunch of raciest Tweets.

You can read more about the incident here:

  • http://deadspin.com/5905356/heres-how-racists-on-twitter-reacted-to-joel-wards-series+winning-goal-against-boston
  • http://sports.yahoo.com/news/fans-let-loose-racist-comments-194912829–nhl.html;_ylt=Ap3D1I.2cctFHxX2S6WFQ_Z7vLYF

I proceeded to post the following on Facebook:

This probably doesn’t surprise most of us, unfortunately. However, calling attention to the issue is important. It is a double-edged sword though. On one hand, we draw out into the public these bigots for who they are – for the whole world to see. Yet by doing so, and shaming them, we give them the very thing they crave most – attention. I do find it humorous that many of the Twitter accounts were deleted by their owners when the bigots had the self-realization that they are actually first-class a-holes. Live, Love, and Power through the hate my friends.