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A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites

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Good companies pay attention to the social networking sites their customers and employees inhabit. They watch their behaviors, they listen to their concerns, they apologize when their companies make mistakes, they are transparent and honest, and engage their audiences and employees to foster growth, increase brand awareness, and tap their collective knowledge to improve their bottom lines. 

If business leaders are unaware of how social networking sites operate, what their culture is like, and how people behave on these sites, then their employees' activities there may impact their company in any number of ways. 

  • Can employees really write whatever they want on a social networking site? Should they?
  • Are they entitled to privacy on social networking sites--whether they are engaging in social media activities while at work or on weekends, on their own devices?
  • How private is private when it's shared with 250 “friends?”
  • What's HR to do? 

A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites by SHRM Online Manager and Editor, Aliah D. Wright explores the best management practices in this rapidly evolving workplace reality. 

Anyone who manages employees who access social media from the palms of their hands, must stay abreast of the constantly shifting ways social media is evolving business strategy while helping employees maintain productivity and avoid damaging reputations. In addition, managers must help employees be mindful of corporate values while safeguarding corporate data. This first of its kind, people management book will help business leaders, HR professionals, and line managers guide employees in their use of such sites while balancing productivity and help HR professionals set policies that do both. 

Table of Contents 

Foreword by Henry G. “Hank” Jackson, CEO, SHRM 

Chapter 1. It’s Social Media: Forget Control, Adopt Integration
Chapter 2. What Is Social Media?
Chapter 3. Reconsidering Your Expectations, or All Work and No Play Makes Jack and Jill Dull Employees
Chapter 4. Why Social Media Engagement is Important, or Why Facebook and Twitter, and LinkedIn Are Not Evil
Chapter 5. Embracing Social Media
Chapter 6. Social Recruiting, or Why Job Boards Should Be Afraid of It
Chapter 7. Online Safety
Chapter 8. Productivity: Your Perception Might Not Fit Reality
Chapter 9. Selling Social Media to Your CEO
Chapter 10. Why You Need a Social Media Evangelist
Chapter 11. Rules Are Rules
Chapter 12. Making it Fit
Appendix – Social Media Resource Guide

About the Author 

Aliah D. Wright, an editor/manager for SHRM Online, is a subject matter expert on HR technology, social media, and digital communi­cation trends.


Additional Info

Name A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites
SKU 61.19501
Year published 2013
Page count 220
Publisher SHRM
ISBN 9781586443412
Author Aliah D. Wright
Format Paperback


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Want to know more about Social Media - Read it! Review by David Ryan
Overall rating
When you first open a new book, you wonder where it is going to go. Well ”A Necessary Evil” was no different, but this work took a very different twist compared to any book I have ever read. First of all, I had met the author, Aliah Wright before I undertook to read the book. Naturally I was excited to hear what she had to say.

The next quirk began on page two, I actually knew a person (Janine Truitt) who is being quoted. This trend continued throughout the book, All of the people quote, referenced, or otherwise mentioned in the book are REAL PEOPLE, many of whom I have met, and would consider them friends. While this may be amusing to me, I suppose that is not really enough to get anyone to buy the book. So I need to delve into the content and the material covered in the book.

I found the book to be an excellent introduction into social media use in the workplace. It is directed at people who would like to, or who need to learn more about social media use in the workplace. So if you come down in the camp of shut it down, lock it down and don’t allow anyone to use Facebook or text at work, save your money and just continue with your head in the sand, we will see how that works out for you long term, ugh!

But if you are interested in learning about how to manage your way through some of the conundrums that social media will present the book is a quick read and an excellent resource. Ms. Wright calls on people who actually deal with these issues routinely.

On page 99, we hear from Paul Smith, a working HR professional. Paul talks about his views on use of social media in the workplace. Paul deals with this matter week in and week out. Paul represents his organization in developing sound policies to deal with social media use at work. His views are pragmatic and practical, and if you want to know more you could find Paul on twitter, on Facebook or on his blog and without a doubt he will speak to you.

Throughout the book there are concrete examples of things that a manager should know about social media use. Tweets can be programmed and sent out at later times. If you don’t know this, Mr. Manager, you could end up with egg on your face. I recall the first time I saw one of my schedule tweets flash before my eyes, I thought, that is weird, I just tweeted into cyberspace, but I wasn’t on my computer at the time.

The book is well referenced and has a through index, which makes it an excellent resource. I found it hard to put the book down. I highly recommend it. This should be in every HR pros library. (Posted on 7/10/2013)

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