Protecting Your Company's Rep on Social Media

By Desda Moss Apr 15, 2015

vegas.jpgBy Aliah D. Wright

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social or mobile, the choice is in how well we do it.”

The title to Erik Qualman’s latest book, What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube, (Equalman Studios, 2014) says it all. Privacy is dead. And the task of developing, managing and protecting your organization’s online reputation has never been more challenging—or more important. For HR professionals, the same social networking sites that allow you to reach great candidates, recognize the great work your employees are doing and share your company’s culture with the world, also pose a plethora of risks. Qualman’s book is a practical easy-to-read guide on managing your organization’s brand in the digital age.

Qualman, @equalman on Twitter, says it is imperative that HR departments tell employees that while they have the freedom to use social media, they do not have “freedom from consequences.”

With more and more people using Facebook—more than a billion users and counting; LinkedIn more than 347 million users worldwide—it makes sense for employers to encourage their employees to manage their digital reputations carefully.

Here’s a sample of what’s covered in some of the chapters in the book:

Lessons Learned offers real-life examples from the business world and from personal social media interactions about issues ranging from cyberbullying to texting while driving. There are lots of examples of people who have done dumb things in their social media postings that have affected their jobs or professional lives. The chapter also gives a number of case studies about people who have ended up in prison as a result of their postings.

Top Reputation Tools gives readers a list of online resources such as Google Alerts, Kred, Klout and Social Mention, that are available to help individuals and businesses monitor their online reputations. Many of the tools Qualman cites are free.

Preventing Cyberbullying provides 14 tips on ways to reduce bullying and take the meanness out of social media engagement in addition to advice on some helpful online resources.

Business & Team Resources lists a series of questions to help organizations, teams and others discuss the advantages and disadvantages of social networks.

What Stays in Vegas has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Qualman is also author of the best-selling book, Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Do Business, (Wiley, 2012).

Aliah D. Wright, an online editor and manager for SHRM Online, is author of the best-selling social media book, A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites (SHRM, 2013).

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