When you picture greek life, what image comes to mind? Is it the big college party in a fraternity house? Does greek life make you think of movies like Animal House, Old School, or House Bunny? The media has skewed the public’s perception of greek life. However, the biggest culprit who’s changing the way the public looks at greek life is social media. From Facebook to Yik Yak, negative views from those who are a part of a fraternity or sorority and those outside of greek life are plastered all over social media sites. This negativity is damaging to the future of greek life. This situation is very similar to any business who might be suffering due to a poor reputation. So what can businesses learn from greek life and social media?Fraternities and sororities are very similar to businesses. They report to a central, national headquarters and have specific rules and regulations that are meant to protect the individuals in the organization and the organization itself. There are weekly meetings to discuss upcoming events and projects to benefit the organizations and its philanthropies, just like businesses do. Greek life is a network for individuals who seek to better themselves and their community. Businesses are similar in their goal to improve in their field and community. Businesses that rely on their individual workers to represent them should look to greek life organizations
It’s easy to judge a group based on the actions of a single person. Businesses can suffer when a worker doesn’t do their job properly or has a poor attitude in the presence of a customer. It’s all too easy for that customer to go online and post a status or tweet about a business.
The first thing businesses can learn from greek life and social media is to have a social policy in place from the beginning. Members of fraternities and sororities sign contracts regarding social media. Some chapters adopt acronyms to help their members know what and when to post. One such acronym is THINK.
If a member of a business or greek life is not following the social media policy, that person should be held accountable and face the consequences.
The second thing a business can learn from greek life and social media is cultural sensitivity. Recently, a student called out Quinnipiac University’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter on an event they planned to host, saying that the theme of the philanthropy event Queso for CASA, was offensive. This student has been harassed on social media, but the sorority admitted that they didn’t know if was offensive until they were called out. The president of the chapter issued a statement that said that the chapter planned to learn more about how they can avoid problems like this in the future. Owning up to their mistakes shows maturity and a willingness to learn that businesses can take note of.
The third thing a business can learn from greek life and social media is how to highlight accomplishments. Fraternities and sororities have philanthropies that they are dedicated to. There are usually a few philanthropy events in a school year that take a lot of time and preparation. By documenting and sharing the success of these events through social media, people outside of greek life can see the positive impact on the community. Businesses should take note of this and reach out to the community and work with charities. When a negative story about the business appears, having a positive story that shows that the business cares can be helpful.
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