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Will an employee tank your entire company this weekend?

People are fired for what they post or tweet in their off-hours. This is fact.

Your personal social media platforms are not really personal. Once hired – you represent your company.

A simple tweet can hurt the reputation of your company.

Not everyone understands. Do your employees?

This is something I help my clients navigate.

Most of the social media mistakes that have made headlines were preventable.

Do you have a plan? Do you have a company social media strategy?

Already have a social media strategy? Great! Have you TRAINED your employees?

When I helped create the social media platforms for NBC Chicago — and then helped other NBC stations across the country… we made sure to set up training sessions with all employees. From on-air to sales… we tried to guide everyone through what was at the time – new waters. It was still communicating with our audience — but it was in a very new way. There were new deadlines and rules. Training was key.

Your employees may not necessarily know what’s public and what’s private. This is very important to teach.

Oh, and here’s a big reason why you want to do social media training: once you train on it – it could make it easier to fire an employee when they do make the mistake. If you don’t do the training – they can claim they didn’t know. And, they didn’t, did they? You never told them…

Don’t get overwhelmed — this doesn’t have to be a day-long training. It’s a few hours with all employees – and it can be set up at different times so everyone can make it when it’s convenient for the company.

Have you already had issues with social media at your company? Can you imagine how much could have been prevented with the right training?

Remember — one wrong message on social media can make your company lose a lot of money. People question your hiring and the way you manage people. They’ll wonder if you’re that lax in other departments.

After reading this – don’t avoid creating a great digital brand through using social media because it could hurt you. That’s like not hiring anyone to work your storefront because you’re too afraid he’ll say the wrong thing.

You NEED social media but you NEED to use it the right way. It’s an art and science. It’s not a job for so-and-so’s “son who likes to mess around on Twitter.” This person should have a key strategy, marketing and communications role on your team.

The hire is one of the most important moves you can make.

Follow me on social media for more media training tips.