My Tweets Represent the Views of My Employer

04/11/2013 06:08 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2013

"These tweets do not represent the views of my employer."

Disclaimers have officially gone viral.

But what does it say about companies who require employees to post this on their Twitter? What does it say about the employees who think this will make them look good at work?

Where are we in the social business evolution that we still somehow believe there is a clear line between personal and professional?

Let's remember the benefits of social media when used correctly:

1. Free marketing
2. Free PR
3. Employee referrals
4. Improved collaboration
5. Improved morale among employees
6. Improved relationships between company and customer, vendor partner, prospect

The list goes on....

The problem arises when the company doesn't have a strong culture that clearly illustrates what professional behavior is. When the executive leadership creates a culture of respect, employees inherently reflect that culture. This pervasive aura of respect is prevalent in companies that truly understand the makings of a social business. Their culture and values invoke professionalism, creativity, and collaboration. An employee's ability to professionally manage a twitter and Facebook account is a reflection of the company's culture.

If you're hiring influencers as executives at your company, it's an asset. The "disclaimer" takes something away from the influencer as an advocate for you.

The best social media policies preach common sense. If you're hiring people who have a strong common sense sounding board, they're intuitively going to know how to behave. There are always freak accidents and occurrences. We pity the company that hires a young Senator Anthony Weiner.

If you have a strong hiring process, you can avoid hiring people like this:


Screenshot from The UBER-blog

Consider holding a training to teach your employees how to build their thought leadership. If you make your employees feel like an integral part of your social business strategy, they will feel valued and their behavior will change as a result. I understand you might not want your engineers perpetually distracted by Twitter, but individuals who have a social ID are advocates for your brand. If you want to hire great people, often the best referrals come from those inside the company. Also many companies leverage their employees when promoting company marketing events such as webinars. Some companies make a habit of sending out pre-written tweets that are easy for employees to send out.

We've established corporate America has lost control. Embrace the digital landscape. When you focus on creating a strong culture, everything else falls into place.