Marketing & Advertising Employees Are Most Likely to Allow Their Personal & Professional Online Lives Cross Over, New Research Reveals

  • Research on UK employees has found that 41% of marketing & advertising employees would accept ANY work colleague as a ‘friend’ on Facebook, compared to 28% national average
  • Almost 1 in 3 (29%) marketing & advertising employees check out interviewers and interviewees on social media beforehand
  • Twice as many marketing & advertising employees check their social media profiles before applying for a job to ensure a ‘professional image’ as the rest of UK employees

A new study into the blurring lines of personal and professional social media use has found that those working with the marketing & advertising sector are most likely to let their personal and professional online lives overlap.

The research – carried out in October 2015 of over 1,000 UK employees across varying sectors – found that 1 in 10 (10%) marketing & advertising employees use their work email address to log in to one or more personal social media accounts, compared to a 4% all-sector average.

Encouragingly for employers, the study also found that 23% of marketing & advertising employees are happy to promote their company through their personal social media accounts, compared to a low 12% all-sector average.

In more good news for employers – 58% of those working within the marketing & advertising industry said they have read and follow their company’s social media guidelines, compared to a 39% average.

Overall, the study identified some interesting stats about employee’s social media use across different sectors:

  • 18% of employees don’t even know if their company has a social media policy – potentially opening their company up to risk.
  • 1 in 4 (25%) said that they would think carefully before posting content or pictures on social media about how it could affect theirs or someone else’s professional reputation.
  • 35% wouldn’t accept their manager(s) as a ‘friend’ on Facebook.

The research follows a number of high-profile cases where employees have posted offensive, defamatory or ill-judged content from their personal social media account – thrusting their employer into the spotlight in the process.

Cases like these emphasise the importance of a company social media policy which reduces the risk posed to a company’s reputation by their employees.

This guide to Protecting Your Company From Employee Risk created jointly by Igniyte and HR Active outlines the practical steps companies can take to improve internal security and communications to avoid a potentially devastating reputation risk from employees.

  • The survey was conducted of over 1,000 employees across eight sectors working in the UK.
  • The survey was commissioned by Igniyte and carried out by The Leadership Factor.
  • The survey took place in October 2015.

About Igniyte

Igniyte is the UK’s leading online reputation management company, supporting individuals and brands in building and maintaining a strong, positive online presence.

Igniyte works with clients internationally to:

  • Monitor, identify and manage mentions and sentiment online.
  • Promote authoritative reputations online using PR and communications techniques.
  • Challenge online content legally where it is defamatory or irrelevant.
  • Create and optimise digital content such as websites, blogs, articles and online profiles.
  • Implement effective processes such as positive review strategies.

About HR Active

HRActive is run by Katie Thorpe, an experienced HR Consultant who has worked across a range of public and private sector organisations, including insurance, manufacturing social care, housing, museums, retail, professional services and the NHS.