Organizations must use caution in this new world of “tweet” this, “like” that, “pin” your interest, “Linked” in and “Red” it. Organizations are realizing the impact of social media on their business. We are now starting to see social media policies, social media managers, and content writers. There are numerous opportunities in this growing field.
Many realize that a carefully managed strategy can increase customer base, brand loyalty and sales. When sales are affected, management will adopt policies to drive social media strategy in a direction that best benefits the organization. Now, the question I ask is what are organizations doing to ensure employees’ personal social media interactions are not detrimental to the organization? This may sound a bit unreasonable, but consider the following.
The former CFO, Gene Morphis, of Francesca’s Collections was terminated because of personal social media postings. It is alleged that he often communicated non public information about the company. This information, in turn, affected the stock price. Gene, and others, potentially benefitted from the change in stock value based on this information. One tweet disclosed the following prior to an earning release.:
“Board meeting. Good numbers=Happy Board.”
The stock price fluctuated around the time of the tweet and Gene did sell some of his shares from a profit.
Francesca claims that it was unaware of Gene’s activities, which is most likely true. The Securities and Exchange Commission should definitely investigate this situation.
So again, what are organizations doing to ensure top executives are aware of their responsibilities as it related to non public information and its impact on social media?