Forgive me for returning to social media, as there was a wealth of interesting comments from visitors, following Friday’s post on the subject. Do check them out.
I was pleased to see a comment from Coach & Bus Week’s editor, Andy Sutcliffe. It was his editorial this week, after all, that started this particular ball rolling. Apart from some rather nice comments about this blog (always welcome!), he is concerned that compared to printed media, there is a lack of policing on the net and were some of the comments to appear in the traditional print media, it would result in a one way ticket to court.
The plausible looking Southern Vectis Facebook page looks official but in fact turns out to be is anything but. While it might look harmless at the moment, who knows what future problems it may cause. At the least, it needs the word “Unofficial” writ large on itAnother commenter had a different perspective on this. It came from social-media-in-the-bus-industry pioneer, Kirsty, late of the Bath Bus Station blog. That blog was one of the first of its kind but succumbed to a centralisation of First’s customer services. Ironically, First social media have reappeared elsewhere, not least with director Leon Daniels himself.
Her point was that it isn’t just on social media sites that employees diss their employers. It happens in pubs, on the street corner, from behind the cab and at the bus terminus. Managers don’t usually get to hear about it and probably can’t do much to stop it. When negativity appears online, provided there’s an honest and mature response, the employer has a means of tackling the issue, something impossible in other situations. There’s a chance to straighten the record.
What I might add to Kirsty’s comments is that a moan over a pint in the pub is perhaps damaging enough, but at least it’s in front of a limited audience. They may regard the teller as either legitimate or just a complainer. But when it gets online not only is it very public, not only does it assume a legitimacy it may not otherwise have or deserve, it’s probably immortalised forever. Managers using social media need to be vigilant and respond accordingly.