Today's Hotelier - April 2016 - (Page 48)

COMPLIANCE & LEGAL 5.5-MINUTE READING TIME SOCIAL MEDIA 8 basic social media policy precautions Suggestions to set clear, concise and rational boundaries for employees online. by ROBERT BRAUN UDGING FROM THE NUMBER of posts I read on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites, there are plenty of people who have nothing better to do than post pictures, stories, jokes and links so all of their friends - and everyone else who is interested - can see them. While this is generally a harmless pastime, it can create particular challenges for companies such as hotels, which are ultimately people-driven and very social places by nature. SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? Every hotel employee is a representative of his or her hotel, and their actions 4 8  | APRIL 2016 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM reflect not just on them, but on the hotel they represent. Every time an employee tweets about work conditions, it reflects positively, or negatively, on the reputation of the hotel. If a desk clerk tweets praises about the service the hotel provides to guests, the hotel is a winner. However, if the same desk clerk comes home from her shift, logs on to Facebook and complains about co-workers, that's a bad mark against the hotel. Worse yet, if an employee takes an embarrassing photo of a guest on his smartphone, and then tweets it to his followers, he's created potential liability for his employer. Employees can create havoc in other ways. Hotel companies cautiously - and rightfully - guard their operating policies and marketing practices. A hotel employee can easily leak information about upcoming marketing plans, personnel moves, and other events that could damage the hotel's reputation or give its competitors an edge. Even well-meaning acts by employees, including authorized employees, can backfire. TripAdvisor has become a go-to site for travelers and hotel professionals alike, and a highly recommended practice is for a hotel representative, often the general manager, to respond to every comment (particularly every negative comment) about the hotel that a TripAdvisor visitor might post. However, if the response is inaccurate, condescending or simply poorly written, it can do more harm than good. Finally, employees are a key source of insecurity in a company's data infrastructure. Internal employees are tied with hackers as a security concern, according to 59 percent of respondents to the sixth Global Information Security Workforce Study. Cases abound of employees who create security risks, from an employee of one firm who took photographs of data on a computer screen with his smartphone camera and sold it, to another employee who wrote down information and put it in her briefcase to sell. WHAT'S THE ANSWER? A social-networking policy is one of a company's most effective lines of defense against the risks presented by http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - April 2016

Message From AAHOA
Letter From The Chairmen
Lobby Bytes
AAHOA Spotlight
Member Talk
Perspectives From The Chief suites
Government Affairs
Food & Beverage
Compliance & Legal
5 Unexpected Things Hoteliers Can Learn From Kevin O’Leary
Guest Experience
Sales & Marketing
4 Steps To Creating A Powerful Guest Experience
Doing Business
3 Ways To Breathe Life And Revenue Into Your Space
AAHOA Events
Founding Members
Finance & Revenue
Advertiser Index

Today's Hotelier - April 2016