Business Reputation Management Online - Is Facebook a Hazard?
We always talk about the benefits of using social media for business, but we've never covered the topic of business reputation management online whilst using these platforms.
In a contributor article posted on Bizcommunity.com by Candice McGregor, she discusses the damage that an employee can cause to the reputation of a company by posting derogratory comments on social media, Facebook especially.
Most of the conversations surrounding reputation management online concern the actual content you post as a company, and the handling of customer complaints on your public profiles. The issue of reputation management online in the hands of your employees is another story altogether.
Many people share their inner-most and personal feelings on social networks, especially Facebook as they believe that it is a secure medium where only their actual connections can see their updates.
This isn't always the case, due to the following:
- If a persons' privacy settings are not set up correctly, their profile may be publicly viewable without their knowledge
- A fact that people tend to neglect with their settings is that friends of friends may be able to view their profile as if they were connected to the user
- An employee could be connected to fellow colleagues
- Employees could be linked to business pages
Recently an employee was dismissed for posting derogatory comments about his company, and this dismissal was upheld by the CCMA.
The reason for this is that, the CCMA found that the employee purposefully posted a derogatory comment about the company on his Facebook profile and, owing to the high number of connections he had, he could have given the company name a bad reputation.
Unfortunately there is isn't a sure-fire way to ensure that your employees are not making insulting or offensive comments about your company online, but it is an important factor to consider for your reputation management online.
A simple step such as educating your employees with a social media policy document will assist in avoiding unwanted online reputation management hazards.
Key takeaway: Unfortunately it's not only your customers that can bring your company name into disrepute, it can be the very people that work for your company.