Today, most employees have a social media presence and likely spend a portion of each day sharing an update or two. When social media activity and the workday intersect, how should organizations respond? Let’s take a look at why organizations are monitoring employees’ social media activity and several best practices for monitoring.

Learn why organizations are monitoring employees’ social media activity and several best practices for monitoring. Click To Tweet

Many organizations have guidelines regarding acceptable use of company resources for personal business. This includes using a company device on company time to engage in personal social media activities. The lines become much blurrier when it comes to the ethics and legality of monitoring what employees do outside of work on social media. In this article, we’ll focus on social media activity monitoring at work.

Reasons Why Organizations Monitor Employees’ Social Media Activity

  • To ensure optimal productivity. This is probably the most obvious reason for monitoring activity: it negatively impacts production.
  • To protect the corporate brand. Social media has given everyone a potential bullhorn and the ability to broadcast messages to a large audience. A social media post that reflects badly on the brand can inflict real harm to your organization.
  • To ensure quality customer interactions. Today, more and more support and service interactions happen through Twitter and similar outlets. Monitoring this work-related use of social media is critical.
  • To protect against activities such as engaging in hate speech, discriminatory conduct, or bullying. These activities put your organization at risk of legal action.

So, social media monitoring makes sense for several reasons. Here are three best practices to implement in your monitoring program.

How to Effectively Monitor Employees’ Social Media

Establish a policy. Be upfront and clear regarding why, how, and when you monitor employee internet usage and, specifically, social media activity. Many organizations incorporate language informing employees that they should have no expectation of privacy for any communications when using company networks or devices. Stress that posts or comments in or outside of work hours should not reflect negatively on the company nor breach confidentiality.

Encourage constructive use of social media. There are several ways in which engaging on social media as an employee can reap benefits. Employees can be powerful brand ambassadors, amplifying corporate messages to their followers. This can pay dividends for the organization in terms of brand recognition, employee recruiting, and favorable perception among the public and consumers. Marketing and human resources departments should team up to guide employees on the best way to retweet and like messages and share their own company experience online.

Make monitoring role-based. When it comes to user activity monitoring to ensure productivity and quality customer service, you’ll need to customize activities based on role. A social media application or website that is classified as productive for one role may be considered unproductive for another. For example, a social media manager spending all of his time on Facebook and Twitter is an example of productive work that is central to the job function. A sales manager spending many hours a day on Facebook and Twitter is probably an example of unproductive activity. Similarly, you’ll want to be listening to customer service agents’ interactions on Twitter to ensure quality.

Social media is a fact of life today, bringing opportunities and challenges to your corporate brand and productivity. It makes sense to take a thoughtful and proactive approach to monitor employees’ social media activity. Get fresh blog content straight to your inbox.