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Is your social media presence really yours?

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

Today’s guest post is from Drew McLellan, “top dog” at McLellan Marketing Group and member of our SmartBrief on Social Media Advisory Board.

A high-level ad exec puts a multimillion-dollar account at risk because of his tweet.  A long-time Eagles employee gets fired because of a Facebook update.  A student teacher is denied her teaching certificate for posting a picture of herself titled “drunk pirate” to her MySpace page.

Don’t tell me that your employer has no right to access, judge or discipline you based on your social media activities. It’s happening. And I suspect it’s only the beginning.

About three weeks ago, I wrote a post on “Who really owns your social media persona?”  and suggested that we’re coming up on a critical employment issue:

If you’re employed by someone else — do they in essence own a part of your social media persona? Aren’t you (despite any disclaimer language) representing your employer just as much as you the person when you tweet, blog or update a status?

Where do you think this is headed? Will employee manuals of the future have “social media guidelines?” Do you think your boss has a right to censor your social media activity? Do you think you have an obligation to do so?

If the comments on my original blog post are any indication, people have very strong feelings about these questions. Some believe they’re avoiding it all together by having dual accounts on all the social networks. Others are outraged at the notion that their employer would have any say over what they do on their personal time.

What do you think? How are you handling this as an employee? An employer?

Image credit, iStock