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Employee Twitter Accounts – Beware

I saw a tweet late last week when I was in LA from Rebecca Kelley, a friend who works with uber-cool marketing firm 10e20 out of NYC. It was a great reputation management moment.

And a great lesson for Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

What Rebecca uncovered was a “branded” Twitter account running under the name @enterpriserent. It’s managed by an Enterprise employee out of Canada who unashamedly tweets rants about their job at Enterprise.

Some gems include mocking a co-worker with a pet name of “Shrek” and bemoaning co-workers lazily washing cars. Also, off-hand remarks about using a baseball bat on customers.

I know this is a joke from the Twitter user, but Enterprise truly does have a reputation management “fail” here.

Customers / potential customers who search the net or who search on Twitter ( got 20 million searches in November ’09), are likely to find this account. It may also be showing up in Google and Bing SERPs for keywords surrounding the Enterprise brand.

To make matters worse for Enterprise, the @Twitter name contains “enterprise”! Not good.

The lesson learned is you need to communicate to employees the effect their social networking can have on the company. My financial services company has many of our officers using Facebook, and we try to educate them on the idea that what they are saying on these sites is searchable and viewable to customers.

Just like a teenager posting party pictures, employees need a reminder too. Beware.

And you might preclude them from being allowed to register accounts using the company name. :)

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