Why stifling employees’ social media use hurts your brand

Your employees know your organization and its attributes better than anyone. Don’t muffle them out of fear of online gaffes or poaching by competitors.

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One major factor, according to the 2014 Altimeter Group survey that produced that finding, is that most employees don’t have a clear understanding of what they can or should share on behalf of the brand. Consequently, most stay quiet.

This is a huge loss. Social media is one of the most influential channels for brand managers to communicate and engage with customers. Though most leading organizations have a brand presence on social media, they can easily augment their impact by empowering employees to be their amplifier—simply by being socially vocal.

Take Adobe as an example: On LinkedIn alone, the combined connections of Adobe employees are seven times greater than the number of followers on our brand pages, and 91 percent of the engagements our employees have about Adobe on LinkedIn are with individuals who aren’t engaging with our LinkedIn brand pages.

Not only is our employee reach larger than that of our brand, but the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer also found that trust in the average employee is nearly double the trust in content shared by a brand manager or chief executive.

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