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Social media brings new risks for companies and employees...

Think before you post is the answer

Recently while browsing around MySpace, we saw photos of the marketing director of a company we've done some work with. Normally, that wouldn't be worth writing about, except these photos were photos of the person in his underwear on a table dancing at a party. Now the point of my post is not that this behavior is inappropriate - but posting it on a social media network is a risk for the individual's reputation and his employer's reputation (not mention it's hard to be in a meeting with someone like this, and keep a straight face) when you've seen this picture. While transparency is admirable, certain types of transparency can be damaging.

The reality is that employees will continue to post content and participate in social media. In some cases, they'll do this with links back to the company's website. Does your company have a policy in place to deal with this? Employees need to know what's acceptable and what's not. David Charbuck has an excellent post on blog policy for employees.

On the flip side - the employee perspective - the risk comes in the form of companies checking out social media assets and networks to dig deeper into prospective and current employees' lives. With some profiles being open or people being connected through other people, there's a risk that you're exposed or at least your private life is. To get a brief legal perspective, I talked to Dave Adler, ecommerce attorney, at SES Chicago and the video interview is below.

My point is that social media bring tremendous opportunity but you've got to think first and recognize the consequences. Irresponsible behavior can be damaging to both companies and employees. What do you think? Have you had an awkward moment you'd like to share? What steps can companies and employees take?

Perhaps, Pete Cashmore of, puts it best in this morning's post about the risks involved with twitter - "the bottom line: think before you Tweet. We all know that Tweets can't be undone once they've been blasted to your thousands of friends, and even deleting them doesn't remove them from Twitter search. If in doubt, don't Tweet"

- Duncan Alney Facebook | Twitter | Naymz

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