I talk to lots of companies that are afraid to allow their employees to participate in social media. I also talk a lot of companies successfully using social media. What do the successful companies know? It costs nothing and you can do it, too. It has to do with how you treat your employees.

Years ago, when companies were trying to improve their customers service, they discovered something simple that made all the difference. The companies that treated their employees well were rewarded with employees that treated their customers well. Simple, isn't it?

SAN RAFAEL, CA - APRIL 04:  Employee Developme...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

So much of customer service is about employee attitude. When employees feel good and feel loyal to their employer, they suddenly care about how customers feel about their company too. Oh yeah, and they think of it as "their" company rather than "the" company.

Well, guess what? I think social media works the same way.

The companies where employees are happy in their jobs, where they believe in their company, where they are loyal to their employers--those are the places where social media works. Why? Because employees will instinctively do the right thing. They'll care about the same things their company cares about. They'll portray their company in the best light and treat both customers and detractors with the respect they deserve.

The interesting thing is that the companies I talk to that are afraid of social media really have nothing to worry about. From what I can tell, their employees are loyal and they would do their best for their company.

Now, some companies should be worried--if they treat their employees like dirt, their employees won't extol their company in social media. But the fear I see in most companies is misplaced. It's just fear of the unknown, Keep treating your employees right and you'll be rewarded in social media.

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July 6, 2009

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


Good morning! I really like the attitude of your post, and it makes me thing about corporate communication in a different light.
I have a new question for you, though. What do you say to corporate people worried about security risks of social media within a company?

I enjoyed reading your post. Employee loyalty is a very important asset and companies should know by now that, as you say, well treated employees will 'care about the same things their company cares about'. Thus, engaging in social media should be on everyone's agenda.

Monika Lorincz

Oh so very true. I've been incorporating that philosophy with the small businesses I've been consulting with on how they can utilize social media to their businesses advantage.

The correct reasoning. Everything written is true. Why do fear and worry about social media? Staff will be doing everything possible for their companies. With the help of social media workers' rights into the relevant relationship.

This is a good way to practice trust and loyalty for companies and their employees.

Companies can actually benefit from social media, taking risks is just one part of this.

Very good post.

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