Is social media ruining HR’s hope of a good corporate image?

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09 Jun 2016

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Social media is an untameable beast; the usage statistics are staggering with 1.65 billion active monthly users on Facebook* (5 new profiles being created every second**) and 6,000 tweets per second on Twitter just scratching the surface. Therefore, it should be no surprise that organisations across the globe struggle to manage how their employees represent their brand on these platforms; particularly in a society that is under pressure to show it is treating people equally. For example, one US organisation has come under fire for highlighting the fact that they only had women in their editor’s meeting. Liz Heron, Executive Editor at Huffington Post, used her personal Twitter profile to post an image of ‘girl power’ in the boardroom***, which was immediately criticised by thousands of users due to the lack of executive diversity. Not only will this have a negative impact on her own social media reputation but also the organisation she works for. Here in the UK, many organisations are taking steps to protect their reputation by creating a social media policy. Of course, one of the challenges is to make sure that the social media policy covers all bases and to make sure that it is compliant with the law. Cathie Gilhooly, Head of HR Operations at Croner, says, “Of the many challenges facing today’s HR departments, social media comes high on the list. Organisations need to ensure that they have policies and procedures in place that cover social media. However, organisations are warned that if someone breaches the policy they are automatically dismissed – they still need to follow their dismissal process.” Robert Brown, Digital Marketing and Content Specialist for Croner, is responsible for Croner’s social media activity and states “When I write social media posts, either as myself or Croner, I take extra care to consider whether my post could be deemed offensive, discriminatory or biased. Content on social media has an instant global reach, is often quoted in the press (even after it has been removed from the network) and can be extremely damaging to organisations and individuals alike – it’s not just cyber bullying that employers need to be aware of but their own reputation.” To find out more about how Croner's HR consultants can assist with tackling the social media minefield, please call 0800 032 4088. Source: * ALLFacebook, ** Internet Live Stats, *** reddit, **** HR Grapevine

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