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Empowering Your Team to Join the Conversation

Often there are two types of organization scenarios when it comes to participating in the social media revolution: those who try and lock down their employees by banning access to social media sites, and those who unleash them - but in an unprepared way.

Neither of course are very effective. The former essentially proves just how much your firm doesn't "get" how marketing has turned into a conversation. The latter often leads to unintended consequences and messes to clean up.

What about (gasp!) an enlightened approach where you encourage your employees to build the firms' brand through effective social media interaction? What if you equipped them to represent your organization effectively on Twitter, Facebook and other communities?

IBM, not necessarily a company you would think of as progressive in the Web 2.0 world, has been a leader in this area. As far back as 2005, they got ahead of the curve and realized that a) their employees have a ton of value to contribute to the world, and b) they should probably just lay down a few guidelines that they are expected to adhere to when representing the company on blogs, message boards, etc.

Here is what they came up with.

It's fantastic. It's straightforward, connected to IBM's values, and empowering. Way to go Big Blue.

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