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November 18, 2015

Igniyte’s research finds 35% of UK workers don’t want to be friends with their managers on Facebook

Igniyte’s latest research looks into the blurring lines of personal and professional social media use, coinciding with the release of their latest e-guide, Protecting Your Company’s Reputation From Employee Risk.

Protecting Your Company's ReputationThe e-guide – which you can download for free here – follows a number of high-profile cases where employees have posted offensive, defamatory or ill-judged content from their personal social media accounts – thrusting their employer into the spotlight in the process.

The accompanying research of over 1,000 UK employees has found that 35% said they would accept some work colleagues as ‘friends’ on Facebook, but not their managers.

The study also encouragingly found that 39% of employees have read and follow their company’s social media policy, but a further 18% don’t even know if their company has a social media policy.

The research revealed some interesting trends in social media use across different sectors:

  • Those working in the Finance sector are most likely to be judgemental of what they find on social media about an interviewer or interviewee, with almost 20% saying what they’d found had affected their judgement of that person.
  • Property companies are most open to reputational risk from the social media behaviour of their employees, with 31% of property employees admitting their company doesn’t have a social media policy.
  • Travel, Transport & Leisure employees are the most likely to keep their professional and personal social media lives separate, with a massive 45% saying they wouldn’t accept their manager as ‘friends’ on Facebook. 16% admitted they’d read their company’s social media policy, but don’t follow it, and just 6% said they’d be happy to promote their company using their personal social media accounts.
  • Marketing & Advertising employees are – unsurprisingly – the most likely to have blurred professional and personal social media lives, with 36% saying they check their social media accounts before applying to a job to ensure they’re portraying a professional image. 23% also said they’re happy to promote their company through social media, and 10% even use their work email address to login to personal social media accounts.

Igniyte’s e-guide, created in partnership with HR Active, outlines the practical steps companies should be taking to educate employees on correct social media use and how to improve internal security to avoid a potentially devastating risk to reputation.

For further information on limiting corporate reputation risk, get in touch with me in complete confidence at or call me on +44 (0) 203 542 8689.


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