Study: Employees’ online voices outweigh reputational risk

Whether a company has an official social media presence or not, how employees talk about that company on networking platforms has a huge impact.

A new study shows that companies should focus more on managing employees as reputation builders and brand ambassadors.

This is contrary to the approach that many companies take, which is to view social media as a risk.

One of the researchers, Joonas Rokka of Neoma Business School in France said in a statement:

We observe an increasing and consistent need to address the heightened role of employees in social media, regardless of whether the company has an official presence there. This need emerges from the fact that employees have a crucial role as active meaning makers and reputation builders in various social-media networks that include customers, colleagues, and friends, and in which the boundaries between work and non-work roles begin to lose their sharp contours. Hence, the ways in which companies balance between managing work and private lives of their employees as well as openness and control becomes an issue that needs careful attention.

When it comes to building a reputation, achieving transparency is more important than avoiding negative impressions, the study found.

The issue often comes up in setting corporate social media standards and legal guidelines for tweets.

You can find the full report here.


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