For employers, the power of the Internet is pretty scary at times.
The latest meme to hit the Internet won’t change that view.
Sometime yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, someone tweeted a picture of a worker from a Target store.
His name is “Alex”. We know this because of his name tag. And apparently he’s cute and teenagers started retweeting his picture and lots of other tweets with his name.
Like hundreds of thousands of times. And within 24 hours, his name has become one of the top 10 hashtags on Twitter — #AlexfromTarget.
There’s even a Buzzfeed article just devoted to him. And Time magazine. I’m sure we’re only hours away from The New York Times treatment too.
You might be scratching you head at this point. Are you missing something?
As far as I can tell, no. He’s just a worker from Target. That’s it.
Target, to its credit, has been watching the social media streams and by this morning, had a tweet of their own. “We heart Alex too”, it posted.
For employers, though, this latest meme is still yet another example of how the trivial can become the viral. How your retail stores are just one more place where average teenagers can become internet superstars literally overnight.
By now, I’ve preached about having a social media policy. But that policy really wouldn’t cover #AlexfromTarget. What you also need is a social media response plan.
Andrea Obston, of Andrea Obston Marketing Communications, Inc., often preaches about how employers need to make sure to protect your brand during a crisis.
So far, Target is learning the lessons of the past by staying ahead of the curve.
Before your employees turn into internet memes, make sure you have a social media response team designated ahead of time. Knowing who will respond and how, can be critical in preventing an internet meme from ruining your workplace.
Will Alex continue working at Target after all of this media scrutiny? We shall see.