Doing Damage On Social Media
From the endless stream of celebrity gaffs to the politicians who just can’t stop putting their feet in their mouths, the socialsphere is full of people doing irreversible damage to their image.
But people in the public eye aren’t the only guilty ones. I bet you know people personally who regularly embarrass themselves by posting ridiculous things on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever. The content can run the gamut from incorrect grammar to naked pics and everything in between. But the point is, it’s unflattering, cringe-worthy, and deserves a laugh or a headshake.
But when does posting on social media cross the professionalism line?
As a business-owner, you should absolutely have a social media policy in place. And if you don’t already have one, make that an immediate priority. Why? Because it’s highly likely that everyone on your team is engaged on social media. And whether they know it or not, they are walking, talking, Tweeting representations of your brand
No CEO wants to think their employees are going to embarrass them on the Internet, but it can happen directly or indirectly from careless employee posting. And if the impact is serious enough, careless posting can embarrass the company and warrant immediate action.
So how does an employee do damage to the company brand on social media? Here are 5 ways:
- Dissenting Chatter
The obvious answer is badmouthing the company, the bosses, or the coworkers. It’s a blatantly stupid move to talk about how unhappy you are with work on social media. But the thing is, you could jump onto Facebook right now and count probably 10 posts by people complaining about their jobs. Frankly, that looks worse on the employee than the company because it’s petty, ineffective social pandering. But then, the brand has to deal with the perception of hiring unhappy employees. Nobody looks good here.
- Release of Confidential Info
Another action that could cause brand damage is when an employee releases confidential information via social media. It doesn’t have to be something obvious like a photograph of a nondisclosure agreement. It could be information about landing a new client or announcing a new partnership. The point is, info that was supposed to stay in-house is now everywhere.
- Explicit Content
As we mentioned earlier, nudity and language are two of the most widespread causes for damage. Also, drug use or any content that could be viewed as inappropriate should be cause for concern.
Engaging in emotionally fueled arguments with other users can reflect very poorly on the brand. At any point in the day, we can log onto Facebook and witness an argument about race, politics, religion, or just about anything that’s a hot button issue. As a business, encourage your staff to stay out of arguments and discussions that could invite hate-speech or angry opinions from lunatics.
Sometimes people post information that’s just wrong. It can be a wayward, misinformed link they’re sharing or just an inaccurate description of a news story. People look dumb when they post from ignorance, and they might make you look dumb for hiring them.
Someday, somehow an employee is going to post something questionable. So you’ve got to be prepared with an airtight social media policy and a plan for damage control.
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