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    Wall Street Journal: Facebook, Twitter Updates Spell Trouble in Small Workplace

    The Wall Street Journal has another story about how publishing personal info online at social-networking sites, such as Twitter or Facebook, can affect your employment or career at a small company.

    These days, bad employee behavior is no longer confined to cubicle walls. Some workers are now sharing disparaging opinions and even proprietary information about their employers on social media – Web forums that in many cases can accessed by anyone, including a company’s clients, investors and competitors. Business experts say that kind of exposure could be particularly troublesome for small enterprises, though there are ways owners can cope and even turn the tables to their advantage.

    “It’s much easier for a large company to distance themselves from the actions of one employee than it is for a small firm,” says Robby Slaughter, owner of Slaughter Development LLC, an Indianapolis consulting firm that specializes in workplace productivity.

    And just one person can make a big impact on an organization. Consider, for example, that earlier this month the Israeli military called off a raid on a West Bank town after a soldier posted on his Facebook profile that his combat unit was going to “clean up” the area. The soldier was reported by his friends, court-martialed and sentenced to 10 days in prison, according to media reports. (For more, see “Israel Calls Off Raid After Soldier’s Facebook Post.”)

    Of course, it’s unlikely that any lives would be a stake if an employee were to reveal private information about a small business he or she works for on a social-media outlet. But such a blunder could result in major embarrassment. […]

    To nab violators, some business owners frequently conduct Web searches of their companies’ names. Others make a habit of checking employees’ social-media profiles if they’re open to the public or they’ve been granted access. They say such strategies can be helpful for quickly doing damage control, as well as for digging up digital dirt on employees and prospective recruits.

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