Social Brands: Are Employees Your Employees 24/7?

social business employees non stopWe've all seen the social media profiles, bios and disclaimers that read something similar to “my thoughts are my own” or “my tweets are my own.”

Is there really such a thing? Is there a magical hour or invisible line in the sand that separates an employee from the words they say, the things they do and the impact they have on a brand?

If a human being (i.e., an employee) is associated with a brand, is it possible to truly separate them from the brand just because it hits 5:00 pm and the employee “clocks out” or because they add a disclaimer to their tweets?

The truth is that there is no separation. As soon as you or your employees associate yourself or themselves with a brand, that association has been made. Just because they state their tweets or their social media posts are their own doesn't mean people reading, hearing or seeing them won't associate the brand to them. To believe this as such is simply ignorant.

Every employee within your company is a walking billboard of your brand. If you don't like what they say, do, tweet, think, post, pin, video tape or sing about your brand, then you better start on the inside out and fix it.

Check out the video below from Scott Stratten who I think hits the nail on the head with this much needed discussion.  He also includes several case studies that prove the point in a bold way.

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Join us this Tuesday night at 9pm et on #GetRealChat for a discussion on the reality of the 24/7 employee and the impact on brands.


About the Author:

CEO / Founder Marketing Nutz, full service social media, digital marketing, experiential brand, conversion optimization agency. Ranked by Forbes as Top 10 Social Media Women and 10 Social Media Power Influencer. Keynote speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. Helps businesses of all sizes integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups.


  1. Marc Zazeela January 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Pam – I love what I do for a living. I love the company I work for. They like what I contribute. We are loyal to each other.

    But, they don’t own Marc. They don’t control my thoughts. While I would never do anything to embarrass or discredit them, my thoughts and opinions about things outside of the workplace are strictly mine. They are not managed by my employers and I do not form opinions based on their expectations either.

    While I am careful about making public, bold political or religious statements, that is as much for personal reasons as it is professional. I think most people are smart enough to realize that Marc is the person, not Marc the brand.


    • Timo Elliott January 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Marc — perfectly stated. I don’t have anything to add except “ditto”…

    • PamMktgNut January 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Marc Zazeela I agree with you. As humans we have every right to have our own opinion. We also have every right to voice it on whatever platform we choose. However, my point is that if we are also associated with a brand publicly then our actions at some point reflect that of the brand. If intentional or not, it still reflects the brand. Bottom line, words have impact regardless if it’s from a personal or brand profile.

      Social business culture beats out strategy in this era. You can have the best strategy and plan for execution on the planet. However, if your internal culture is a mess, eventually it is going to show. If it’s good, the hope is that the good will show. Bottom line whatever your employees, friends, colleagues, partners, customers think of your brand is going to shine thru. Also what they think of your competition, partners etc. is going to shine thru, good or bad.

      As I wrote in my post yesterday, I think it’s also important that we realize brands are not perfect, that they are made up of human beings who of course make mistakes, sleep in late, work late, say the wrong thing at the wrong time. However, it’s also a brand’s responsibility to ensure their brand promise is delivered, not just described in a bio and that their people are a living, breathing representation of their brand.

      This conversation is so much deeper than what can happen on this post. I look fwd to the dialog as most brands are only at the early stages of beginning to grasp the ramifications of such an open & social world.

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. bradmilne January 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I think it’s bang on that there definitely exists the association between employee and company. And while an employee might go out of their way to state that the context of their account (especially if it has very public settings) is theirs, it’s still associated with the company nonetheless.

    Since the accounts are owned by the employees though, it’s up to companies to provide guidance and motivation for using them appropriately.

    I also love the quote in the article ‘Every employee within your company is a walking billboard of your brand.’

    • PamMktgNut January 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Yes, I agree @twitter-16966966:disqus , it’s up to the brand to understand this, train their employees as well as have a social media policy implemented to prevent such risk as well as make it clear to the employees what their responsibilities are, what is acceptable and what is not.

      It’s interesting how many people want to associate their social profile with a brand for the positive reasons (building credibility, establishing trust, brand awareness for their personal brand etc.) However, when it comes to if they want to be accountable to their actions impacting the brand image they want to separate.

      There are so many differences with each company there is obviously not a cookie cutter solution for this. Each brand must understand this and make the right decisions for their brand, employees, market etc.

      Thanks for your thoughts and taking time to comment. 🙂

  3. craig seaton January 24, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Pam, you are spot on. I think Mila has an excellent point of view also in her comment. I know branding can be a little tricky. I know when I made the move and personally branded myself it made a huge difference in website building for example. Now when I type in my name in Google CraigW Seaton I take up the first 4 page;s. Swinging over to my social media coaching site has helped also. I enjoy your content Pam, I’m always learning as is everyone else in this social media animal .

  4. […] Are Your Employees Your Employees 24/7? […]

  5. Deborah Lewis April 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    This is very topical in the UK right now where an official has had to stand down because of tweets made before she was appointed. Read more here:

    Personally I believe people are one not two persons – I think we’re being naive clinging onto an idea of a separate “me-ness” in a world where we all live so publicly.

  6. […] Are Your Employees Your Employees 24/7? […]

  7. […] Are Your Employees Your Employees 24/7? […]

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  11. […] Read-> Are Employees Your Employees 24/7? […]

  12. ToscaSac October 18, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    The current YCombinator and Peter Thiel mess comes to mind. There is a hair splitting fine line between the people of the brand and the brand itself as a whole. Can a company or entity stand for things their individual employees, connections and volunteers etc. do not? Of course they can and do. Can this disparity bring negative attention? Sure but it is still a messy fact. We do not want to start telling people they have to completely agree in order to work together. Especially not in election years. lol Yikes

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