Should you reward employees who engage in social media on behalf of your business?

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I saw a tweet from Brian Solis @briansolis the other day and thought it worthy of a retweet. The tweet was:

All media + businesses will need to build a reward (&HR mgmt) system for employees who engage on behalf of “the brand”

An interesting idea I thought. Not something I had considered before but maybe something that businesses should be considering. After all it’s going to be more and more crucial for many businesses that they engage with people through social media, and the employees are what makes that real. It’s certainly true for businesses such as the marketing agency that I work at.

So out went the retweet.

Within minutes a very perceptive response from a former colleague, Larner Caleb:

Eh? That’s called a salary isn’t it? Get the right people & the right management – they should want to promote ‘the brand’.

OK, so I had some sympathy with this point of view. It should just be part of everyone’s role … but that doesn’t mean that it will be.

We all know that not everything that is in peoples’ objectives gets done, especially when it’s something that is perhaps not viewed as core to their everyday role. So back I bounced with my comment to this end.

Once again though another great comment from Larner:

Maybe not that they should, but more create an environment in which they feel proud enough to want to. Incentivised=insincere.

Now for me the jury is still out. I think it’s going to be interesting to see whether there ever comes a time when those that go that little bit further get a little extra. Just because it’s incentivised doesn’t mean it’s not sincere. Equally just because it’s not incentivised doesn’t mean it’s genuine.

I saw a quote today which prompted me to post tonight “An advocate is someone who is not being paid to say nice things”.

Maybe there’s an interesting debate here? Post me your comments (and Larner, don’t let me down!)

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On 19 June 2012

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