- Communication management
Employees are increasingly using social media to share information about their organization with a large network. On the one hand, they can take on the role of brand ambassadors, sharing positive information and strengthening the corporate reputation. On the other hand, however, they can act as brand saboteurs by spreading confidential information or criticism. So far, both practitioners and researchers have mainly focused on the risks of work-related social media use. In practice, employers’ fear of negative consequences often translates into restrictive social media policies. This focus on the ‘dark’ as opposed to the ‘smart’ side of employee social media use is also reflected in research. Several studies have, for instance, examined how organizations can use social media guidelines to mitigate the risks of work-related social media use. My research, therefore, wants to take a more balanced approach towards employees’ work-related social media use, not only focusing on the risks and how these can be minimized but also on the benefits and how these can be maximized. As such, I aim to provide organizations with best practices on how to turn work-related social media use into an opportunity. I will address three research questions. First, how do employees communicate about their employer on social media? Second, how can social media guidelines affect work-related social media use? And third, how does work-related social media use affect external evaluations of the organization?