Igniyte’s research into the blurring lines of personal and professional social media use has found that 35% of UK employees would be ‘friends’ with some work colleagues on Facebook, but not their managers.

The same research also found that 15% wouldn’t accept any work colleague as a ‘friend’ on Facebook.

The findings support the belief that Facebook is the most personal social media platform, and the one social media account that should stay separate from work lives.

The research, which was carried out in October 2015 on over 1,000 employees in the UK across eight different sectors, also found that those working in the financial sector are the most judgemental of what they find on social media about an interviewee or interviewer, with almost 20% saying what they’d found had affected their judgement of that person.

The study coincides with the release of Igniyte’s e-guide, Protecting Your Company’s Reputation From Employee Risk, and encouragingly found that 25% of UK employees would think carefully before posting content or pictures on social media about how it could affect theirs or someone else’s professional reputation.

The e-guide, created by Igniyte in partnership with HR Active, explores the risk of a company’s employees to its reputation.

With an increasing number of cases of employees posting something they shouldn’t on social media and thus bringing their company into disrepute, it’s important that companies are proactive in protecting their reputation from such risk and educating employees on correct social media use.

Our research found that 39% of UK employees have read and follow their company’s social media policy – but a further 18% didn’t even know if their company had a social media policy, potentially opening that company up to risk.

The study revealed that the property sector are most at risk – with 31% of property employees admitting their company doesn’t have a social media policy.

Employees working in the Travel, Transport & Leisure sector are the most unlikely to allow their personal and professional social media lives cross over, with 45% saying they wouldn’t accept managers on Facebook, 16% admitting they’ve read their company’s social media guidelines but don’t follow it, and only 6% saying they’d be happy to promote their company through their personal social media accounts.

Unsurprisingly, those working in the Marketing & Advertising sector are the most likely to allow their professional and personal social media use cross over, with 23% happy to promote their company through their personal social media accounts, 36% checking their social media accounts before applying for a job to ensure they’re portraying the right image, and 10% using their work email address for personal social media accounts.

Download our guide to find out how to implement an effective social media policy and internal security procedures to limit the risk to your company’s reputation from your employees.

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