What can a company really do to prevent someone from using social media to blab about them?
Exxon Mobil Corp. isn’t quite sure yet.
A Twitter bio by “Janet” says she’s “taking on the world’s toughest energy challenges” from Irving, Texas. She tweets about Exxon Mobil’s philanthropy, answers questions about company policy and praises the oil giant’s corporate citizenship.
Janet’s latest Tweet: “I am an employee of ExxonMobil, who has decided to put forward her pride in her own company."
But when a reporter asked Exxon Mobil about Janet, a spokesman replied, “that’s not us.”
That’s it? Should there be more? Are they truly unaware if their employees are using Twitter?
Maybe Exxon Mobil doesn’t know how and if their workers use social media, but this goes to show it should. What if Janet wasn’t offering glowing comments about the company, but spreading inaccurracies? They probably won’t admit it, but I bet the communication team is closely following this so-called Janet person.
Communications consultant Shel Holtz offered up some free analysis on his blog.
When the Exxon Valdez issue hit Twitter, Janet responded that the oil spill didn’t rank high in such incidents.
“Clearly, Janet has had no communication training, since that response would provoke anger and hostility,” Holtz wrote.
Meanwhile, Twitter gets free PR and waits for Exxon Mobil to act.
“Exxon can contact Twitter if they believe that there is a case of impersonation, and we will review the account,” Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, told the Houston Chronicle.
So who is this Janet and what should the oil giant do about her? (If she’s really a she).