As social media marketers, we are always interested in comparing the sentiment analysis of brands that we represent – and potentially using that as one metric to track the success of our social media programs. Unfortunately, that is only one part of the picture into how we are viewing your brand.
Every employee that has your company name in their Twitter bio is part of how we view your company.
Every employee that shares status updates on LinkedIn can be found using LinkedIn Signal.
Every employee that has a blog in which your company name appears can be seen as a representative of your company.
It is no different if they say they work at your company in their Facebook profile.
Windmill Networking blogger Garrett Ira already showed how your employees can be your most important social media influencers. Fellow WMN blogger Judy Gombita talked about the need to practice positive PR 2.0. So, if your employees are seen as an extension of your company – and if they are sending negative signals through their social presence – what does this say about your brand?
I’ve already decided not to do business with a certain service provider because of my own negative sentiment analysis of that provider’s social media presnce. Their LinkedIn Profile – and Recommendations – were all in order. Phone interview was excellent. Website was solid. However, when I went to their blog and saw that they were taking an extremist view towards politics, I frankly didn’t feel comfortable giving them my business.
The same goes for social media marketers who are also very active in social media. Do they fight with others over tweets? Blog about complaints towards others in the industry? Perhaps even post a biting, negative comment on someone else’s blog? What does it say about them – and would others want to do business with or hire them?
If you were to look at your own social media stream, would any of the below words appear?
The above are actual results using PeopleBrowsr to monitor negative sentiment analysis of major airlines that Brian Solis released sometime ago in his post Twitter Trends: Airline Hotlist August 2009. When I asked Brian about using his above image for this post, he said that that post was “a demonstration which led to The End of Business as Usual to show how conversations = brands today.”
I say the same is as true for how people perceive of company brands as they do YOUR brand.
Every tweet, post, and comment from you is a social media signal that you are sending out to the world. Have you looked back at your streams of content that are for the public eye and deciphered the messages that you are telling the public about you – and the brand that you directly or indirectly represent?
For companies, the only way to improve upon the sentiment that your employees provide the world of social media is to make them happy employees. However, regular workshops or seminars educating all of your employees on the professional use of social media – and the implications it has for your brand or even your employee’s future personal branding – cannot be ignored as a MUST-HAVE ongoing employee training program for any true social business.
It is time for either Human Resources, Internal Communications, or both to pick up the ball, take the initiative, and start the process of bringing their employees up to speed on the professional use of social media.
On the other hand, for all of those social media marketers that are “guilty” of a negative social media presence, perhaps it’s the reason why you don’t get the business – or buzz – that you think you are worthy of.
I’ll conclude this post by saying that there’s nothing wrong with a negative comment here or there, as people are not saying positive things 100% of the time. I will say, though, that you never know who is reading your social media content – which is why it’s always safe to create and stick to your social media public persona.
Have you ever not done business with a company because of their negative social signals? Have you ever seen the social media comments from an employee give you a negative picture of a brand? Please add to the conversation!