Discussing Customers in Social Networks (BBC Radio 4 Interview)

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by: Matt Rhodes

Last year we wrote about the case of the Virgin Atlantic employees who were sacked for talking about customers (and indeed their employers) in social networks, and why you should be careful what you say on Facebook. At the time we wrote that:

…we’ve probably all talked about work gossip, probably with a small group of friends, privately in a bar or over dinner. What these Virgin employees did may have felt just like that – they were in a group with their friends sharing work gossip. The problem is that unlike that secluded table in the bar or restaurant, they were talking in a very public place. Perhaps the most public of places. This was their mistake.

This week had seen more cases in the UK of employees using social networks to talk about their employers and in particular their customers. With employees at supermarket chain Tesco posting reportedly abusive comments about customers in groups on Facebook. This raises a number of issues about how employers should react and when something stops being a personal or seemingly light-hearted discussion and starts being offensive in some real way.

Today I was interviewed by BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme about this very issue. About what employers should do when their employees are talking about customers in social networks. About how they might set up their own online communities as both an outlet for these opinions and as a source of innovation and co-creation. And about why even if employees do talk about customers online, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

If you didn’t catch the show then do listen to the segment below.

Some more reading

Original Post: http://blog.freshnetworks.com/2009/01/discussing-customers-in-social-networks-bbc-radio-4-interview/