There are two types of job seekers in the online world: those that are keenly aware that their social-media presence factors heavily into employers’ hiring choices, and those who are about to become aware of this fact. In recent years, however, the shoe has grown to fit the other foot as well. Candidates may be using social media to get the skinny on potential employers too. But is the cow already out of the barn, or are there things that a company can do to prevent or to repair a tarnished reputation via social media?
Although social media can preserve a professional faux pas well past its expiration date, it can also preserve your positive image and facilitate damage control. Here are three things that should be a part of you and your company’s social-media protocol, especially if you’re already concerned that it may be too late. The key is to be proactive and take the initiative sooner rather than later.
When bad social-media comments come to your attention, you have to answer them in some way. The future success of your company depends at least in part on how you react to negative feedback online. Social media moves rapidly. You can establish a rapport with your audience and tell your own side of the hiring story if you get out front and say something clearly and quickly.
Follow through on your promises in a timely manner. When addressing negative comments, don’t be vague. Let the person know what’s being done and when. Don’t add doublespeak or build in back-door plans in case you change your mind.
The best defense is a good offense, as the old sports adage goes. When you relate your own story of events, you can control the narrative. Companies with a strong social media presence can turn negatives into positives, especially when higher-level personnel is involved in monitoring social-media activity for the company. Additionally, the more positive things you share about yourself, the less the negative comments will impact you.