With regards to surfing Facebook, it's been a very telling week. Several days ago, a friend vented to me about one profile he monitors specifically because it belongs to a friend of his teenage daughter. The girl had posted rather raunchy photos (including shots of underage drinking and smoking) to an album not marked as private. "Anybody can see this," he groused, though he admitted he was grateful to see no compromising pictures of his child.
More recently my husband, who shuns any and all social networking, asked me to look up a few Facebook profiles for him. He is on a panel conducting interviews to fill a vacancy at his school, and wanted to see if any information provided on the accounts matched what he received in the applications. It happens, in nearly every field of business and entertainment. I know publishers and editors who perform Google searches on prospective authors who have submitted work - not so much to see if they actively promote online, but if they do or say anything that could potentially damage their own reputations if they were to sign them SMM panel
If you think somebody isn't looking at your Facebook profile, or reading your tweets and not forming an opinion about you, think again. According to a recent Microsoft study, twenty-five percent of HR managers reject job candidates based upon information found online, particular social profiles. So if you're thinking about posting that video of your antics from your friend's bachelor party at Hooter's, and you happen to be up for tenure at your university, you may want to think twice.
Business and the Social Media Image: Who Represents You Online?
These days, it doesn't seem uncommon for a major company to have a policy on their employees' involvement in sites like Facebook and MySpace. Even off the clock, you may be seen as a representative of your work, and as such may be expected to project a professional image. This doesn't mean, of course, that businesses are watching their workers 24/7, but thanks to Google Alerts and similar watchdog applications, managers can monitor what is being said about their companies, and ultimately these updates can click through to something they feel should be handled swiftly, and perhaps with disciplinary action.
For the business using Facebook, Twitter, and other social profiles to market products and services, it's important to ensure that your activity online is handled in the manner you conduct your business, and provide the face you want customers to see - be it casual, professional, humorous or compassionate.
Does this mean you can't play Farmville anymore? Not necessarily, but if you do have criticism to share about your company or competitors, you may wish to exercise caution when you post status updates. If you're set on sharing photos of your wild weekend in Vegas, strongly consider utilizing privacy options on the social network and avoid tagging friends online if you feel the shots are a bit compromising. You don't want to put a friend at risk, either.
If your company has a fan page on Facebook, make employees aware of feedback policies - designate one or two employees to speak on behalf of the business via the network to avoid confusion. It's easier, of course, to set up that person as admin to ensure fans will know the company responds in a timely manner.