Who Owns a Twitter Account ? A Lawsuit May Determine It…
The New York Times’ John Biggs has poseed an important question…
Noah Kravitz, a writer, worked for PhoneDog, a cell phone marketing company. While there, he wrote for the company’s blog and acquired more than 17,000 Twitter followers. He left his job after 4-years and was intially told that he could keep his Twitter account and was requested to “tweet on their behalf from time to time and I said sure, as we were parting on good terms.”
I am among a fast growing number of marketing professionals who are building our reputations as online journalists via their blog and social media platforms. In doing so, we are building our influence among our audience, and any employer interested in doing so for their company, will bring on professionals who are demonstrating their skills.
The “proof’s in the pudding” so to speak, and transparent actions speak much louder than words. So, of course any savvy hiring manager will want to be on the lookout for the skill-set.
This being said, John’s statement below truly hit home…
… in a world where social media’s influence can mean the difference between a lucrative sale and another fruitless cold call, social media accounts at companies have taken on added significance.
The outcome of this case is going to set a precidence. Particularly, because more and more marketing and sales professionals are being hired because of their savvyness using Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms, and the number of followers they have acquired.
As employers, you’ll want to stay concious of what you’re paying your employees to do. After all, if they’re being paid to sit in a seat and make calls, then their interactions on social media (and the followers they generate) — are personal. They are not connected to the business you pay them to perform.
Transparency in business practices has never been more important. So, specicifity in job descriptions and fair compensation from the outset will alleviate a multitude of problems later — not to mention the negative public relations impact a lawsuit against an ex-employee in good standing has on your company.
Similarly, if you are an employee of a firm and requested to blog and use social media as an addendum to the duties you were originally signed on to do, make sure the stipulations for doing so are in writing!! Expressing your professional opinion, ie: publicising your expertise on the company’s behalf, your writing skill, and the audience you attain, and the time it takes to create are all valuable skills that you should be compensated for.
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Kara works with legal marketers and small to mid-size business to create a more clearly defined focus and distinctive business strategy that will provide them with a competitive advantage for new business, higher reputation recognition, and enhance their ability to attract, win, and retain the clients they really want.
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