The other day the local news made a posting on Facebook about a very sensitive political issue that currently going on. An individual (all parties remain anonymous) made a reply to that particular posting in a simple, but negative feedback. While negative reviews and feedback are all part of social media, and sometimes what stands out more than the positive ones do, another individual went to that person’s personal Facebook page. When they got on their, they went to the about section and found out where they work. The company where the individual works for was then tagged on that post for everyone to see. Leaving all names out, their reply was the following:
“Well I will NEVER shop at XYZ Company with BIGOTS like YOU working there…”
The individual ended up removing the place they worked from their profile, but by the time they had done that, there were over 40 comments and several noted the company they worked for. We may want to keep them separate, but in today’s world, our professional and personal lives mesh together with social media. Many businesses have policies to protect their reputation and/or legal issues, but there are elements outside of corporate guidelines that can dramatically effect a business.
First Amendment gives us the freedom to say whatever we want and express our opinions, but what happen when that pulls businesses involuntarily into the mix with the possibility of jeopardizing their reputation? What steps can businesses take to avoid this situation? Some employers ask their employees not to put the company anywhere on their social media profiles. The best route any company can take is to educate their employees on how negative comments can potentially create a viral outbreak that puts them into a situation that has effected the companies overall branding and possibly sales.
Whatever your company decides to do, the most important thing is to have a policy and be proactive to help prevent any situation like this.