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Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web by Ashton Kutcher, Brian Solis

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Chapter 17. Defining the Rules of Engagement

To prevent information leaks and other liabilities, companies are drafting guidelines for social media interaction. A rule of thumb: Don't be stupid.

BusinessWeek[46]

With access to social tools, we are more influential than we realize, and that works both for and against us.

Before we create and implement outbound social media programs, we must first educate employees on the benefits and hazards associated with social media and the workplace. However, this should not include banning access to these networks. We'll discuss that topic more thoroughly a bit later.

We previously reviewed the circumstances and consequences surrounding the personal use of social media when it links or refers to employers, employees, coworkers, competitors, and affected brands in general. Without realizing the impact of a single update, employees are jeopardizing brand stature, reputation, and competitive edge. Without thinking, employees are sharing candid and damaging thoughts and updates–intentionally and unintentionally–that possess an uncanny ability to surface when least expected and be discovered by people who were never supposed to see them in the first place.

And, perhaps accidentally, employees are sharing company secrets and information that should never see the light of day, and are doing so simply because they have access to the tools that personally connect them to their friends, family, and peers.

Yet, heeding BusinessWeek's advice is easier said ...

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