It comes as no secret that more and more companies are turning to the clouds and using social networks as business tools for increasing profits, communication and much more!

A large number of big brand companies have also implemented social media usage guidelines and even training within their organization to better protect the reputation of the company. These guidelines came out of a necessity to not only protect other employees but also to ensure the company’s image is not ruined by misuse of these tools.

An example of a company who has not had the best run with social media is Nestle (example originally found by Andrew). The employee in charge of social media communication clearly neglected the guidelines and even common sense for that matter. Threatening to ban a user for simply using the company logo as an avatar is absurd in an online environment where freedom of speech is taken to a whole new level. This is an excellent example of how 1 person can greatly diminish the reputation of a company through just a few comments.

Also just a bit of information for anyone interested. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook has been in the spotlight quite a bit for some less than ethical and highly illegal acts. From what I have read on the internet it seems that Mark has been accused of stealing and re-using code and ideas from ConnectU (more info) and other university social systems. It was then later on revealed that Mark also hacked into the ConnectU as a result of these accusations (more info).

Mark has not been too successful in maintaining a quality image and has to some extent been harmed by the use of social tools. Due to his past Mark has earned himself a bad name by many of the people in the technology industry. His past also leaves open the question of whether he will do something similar again. With such a large user database at his finger tips there are many ways he could misuse this information.

  • http://whtblog.wordpress.com wheatand

    Richard it’s scary how easy it for a company to have bad publicity and for it to go viral through social networks. A company really needs to invest into learning how to effectively use these technologies, marketing has definitely changed over the last five years. Interesting info on Mark Zuckerberg I always wondered about what technologies he may have used when he was first accused.

  • http://mcuims.wordpress.com mcuims

    There also are some threats of using social network in business, like Social network worms, Data leakage and Phishing, etc.

  • http://justinkirkby.wordpress.com Justin Kirkby

    Haha, well yeah that totally backfired for Nestle. I mean I can userstand where the guy was coming from asked them not to do it. But it just shows that you really do have no control and does show the dangers of social networking in terms of reputation.

    Mark Zuckerberg still did something right tho, I mean if there are all these other social networking sites out there for “college” something he did or an idea he had set facbook off and turned it into a mutli million dollar company.