Leveraging your brand: should companies compensate employees for endorsements?

Should your company be compensating you for your social influence? What happens when an average joe is asked, or encouraged, by their company to share a certain post. Now that social reach is a commodity in the market place, it's something employees should be wary of. Tastemakers, as they’re often referred to, endorse things by putting their name behind it, and they’ve earned the credibility with their audience so others trust their opinion, and are more influenced to make a purchase or take an action. If you're not being paid to leverage your social media influence, then should you be obliged to post on behalf of your company or organization? If you do, should you should be compensated for it? A lot of companies leverage their employees, and share their stories. Uber, for example. But there needs to be an offer of two-way value. Perhaps an employee values the recognition, and it makes me feel good. While at the same time the company gets to showcase their skills. Win-win. The risk is if that employee shares something off-brand or derogatory. For example if an employee works for a health company, and posts a picture smoking or something. Take Kevin Hart as an example. When movie producers ask him to promote his films on social media, he's quick to point out that is not what he's paid to do. By advocating for his brand, and promoting his film using his online platform, he can make millions. Online brands have value. A good place to start is to do a social media audit of your competitors. See what you like, and don’t like, what’s successful, and what didn’t work, and then implement that into their own social media policy. Everyone in the company should have a copy of the social media policy, and it should be included as part of their HR package. And remember, transparency, authenticity and accountability are always important.

MARCH 28, 2018