Who Owns Your LinkedIn Profile, Social Media Profiles and Content? Your Employer or You?

I read a post today from Jake Dunlap, wherein he described that:

“Your LinkedIn profile is your own…you own it, it’s your voice, it’s your opinions – not your companies. It’s the biggest mistake you can make to turn over your sharing and posts to your company vs. owning the content like your facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Marketers and C-levels – I get it but LI has changed and now it’s your job to empower the teams with thought leadership and insights. Don’t try to make everyone look the same or sound the same – it actually detracts from the authenticity of the brand and team. Empower and Enable – don’t control. If you are an exec and struggling with this, you aren’t alone. I am moving all of our clients this way in 2019 because it will be a huge competitive advantage for those willing to embrace it.”

There are tons of posts in supply chain leading practice on digital transformation, yet few companies are evolving their social media policy. I asked my supply chain network: how are you transforming interactions via social media, especially with the emergence of the digital workplace, digital culture, and race to secure and retain top supply chain talent? Should the company you work for be allowed to govern the things you post on external channels?

This is a relevant topic in digital communication covered at the Gartner IT Expo ~> does an employer own online actions of employees? It can be challenging for some to relinquish control. While I understand that an employee’s thoughts or actions in a digital environment may somehow reflect (or is assumed to) a company’s point of view, I think that this is a 2010 playbook and more progressive companies, like Box for example, are leveraging social media (like Snapchat) to connect and engage employees. Answering the question why you’re on a network is valid. Networking decomposes traditional hierarchies in many ways. In my opinion, the connections you have are yours, not your employers. The thought leadership and point of view you add in your interactions are uniquely yours. If you choose to use these connections in some way that benefits an employer that is also up to you, not a requirement. If you want real connection and responsiveness, social channels provide a good alternative to communicate and connect, particularly when bridging generations in your workforce.

I reached out to Jackie Scott who leads the renowned Rutgers Executive Education program and Mini-MBA in digital marketing for her perspective. She responded,

“Companies that were born digital or adapt digital business models don’t talk digital, they act digital. Social is the epicenter of digital and a critical skill for supply chain leaders. Your network of friends, colleagues, clients, customers is the most important marketing vehicle you have! And what your network says about you and your contributions to the industry will ultimately gauge the value of your personal and professional brand.With that being said, most of the companies we work with don’t have a formal social media policy in place. Success is dependent on people sharing info and continuously educating themselves and aligning themselves with the culture of the company. Formal social media training can be a catalyst for change, alignment and strategy.”

I’d ask the question to employers, how are you enhancing the ability of your employees to engage via social channels, not limit or take the stance of “how does this reflect on us”? Data ethics in digital exchange is a hot topic right now. How do we incorporate social channels in 1st amendment rights? Or do we?

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