Posted May 27, 2009 9:39 am by with 10 comments

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Have you had the big talk with your kids? You know, the one where you explain the risks and how one night of craziness can result in them throwing their life away?

Good. How about with your employees?

No, I’m not talking about the importance of abstinence/protection, I’m talking about the importance of ruining your company’s reputation via social media!

New data suggests you should sit down with them right this minute!

Yep, you read that chart correctly. A whopping 74% of your employees agree that their social media antics could damage your company’s reputation. With that in mind, you absolutely need to have the talk with your employees and let them know what they can and cannot do in social media.

If you need some reading material, might I suggest the rather good Radically Transparent. 😉

(Hat-tip @MikeMoran)

  • I see that statistic as a positive, that there is a growing awareness of how social media tools can be a force for good and bad. With that awareness, it becomes easier to build the internal characteristics and systems needed to leverage the strength of social media: as a way to build relationships with customers.

    I wrote a bit on this yesterday:….

  • This is the wrong question to be asking. Twitter and Facebook may be a fad, but the core principals behind social media are here to stay. Focus on how social media can build your brand and boost your employees reputation and empower them to succeed.

  • Sit down and tell them what? Not to say something stupid on their Facebook and Twitter streams? Not to give out confidential info on these sites, I would hope that goes without saying, but then again….

    • Unfortunately, it often does need saying.

  • Tom

    That´s interesting news ! We will strongly recommend this our youngsters!

  • I was astonished at the numbers of the survey. I fortunately have no employees so I have no immediate concern about how my reputation can get messed up. I suppose though, even solo entrepreneurs like myself can do something inadvertently to discredit my reputation or that of my business. You never know if you are going to write something that will strike someone as offensive and they go off on a tangent destroying you to get even. Good things to consider no matter how many people work for you or if you work alone. The other day I was reading a blog, the blogger said that his use of curse words have angered people to the point of not following him any longer and now I wonder if the actions of some will have a trickle down affect and others will go along with no longer following this individual.

  • Sadly I think more and more employees are running into problems with social networks. I have seen many employees of even major PR agencies write pretty controversial things on their twitter feed. I know locally a teacher lost her job after having pictures of her drinking at a party with students. I think people need to use more common sense and know that everything they put on the internet will more than likely be seen by many people from family and friends to your boss. Also Andy I may be purchasing the book soon I have been seeing a lot about it and I am just starting in this industry of online reputation management so it may be a great resource.

  • This going to sound bad but… no duh! The other 26% need to be educated. Of course a reputation can be ruined! That's like asking if employees think that making poor products can ruin a company's reputation.

    The important question is “How can you avoid it?”

  • Pingback: Can Employees Damage Your Reputation Online? : Bizzia - Business News and Commentary - Finance and Business Tips()

  • cycler

    Social media really can build or break your image or brand. That is the simple reason, why a company, which wants to conduct it`s reputation, must have a strategy for social media plus the guys, who do the things in praxis. But still I belive this is a problem or challenge for big companies. Some politicians are also eager to attack big, well-known companies ( plus Greenpiece) to be able to get popularity.