Imagine if your employee (who shows that they’re employed by your company on their social media profile) tweeted “Blacks were the architects of Apartheid” or “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Yep – there are people who shared these things online. They got fired. So their cronies are bad for your brand.

Take the latest Penny Sparrow debacle, for instance. It turns out that Jawitz Properties once employed her. And the public held it accountable. You can read more about this here, on Bizcommunity.

But companies employ people with questionable opinions all the time. And they probably don't know it, because this sort of stuff tends not to come up in interviews or in day-to-day office interactions. So it's only when these meltdowns happen that employer brands think about the seriousness of this kind of catastrophe.

But it doesn’t have to happen to you before you do something about it. There are a few changes your HR team can implement now to circumvent this kind of bad publicity. What are they? They’re the 3 Socially Savvy Employment Tips:

1. Educate your staff

It's not enough to 'be on social'. It's not enough to force un-savvy employees to use social (many local property companies are guilty of this). You have to train them on how social works in the real world and on the many risks involved. Don’t know about the risks? Read this book.

2. Part of the process

A social media audit must be part of the exit process when someone leaves your employ. Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Third-party portals. Whatever else there is. All reference to current employment by your company must be removed. Find out whether (and how) this is covered by labour law and if it isn't, hire a consultant.

3. Prepare for the worst

Have a solid generic statement ready in case of disaster, so that you can tweak it in line with the specifics and start to manage the crisis early and fast. Even if, like in Jawitz Properties’ case, it hits you over the head on a Sunday evening.

Social media is everywhere. And, for the most part, it can be a great tool for a brand. But don’t be fooled into thinking it won’t destroy the brand if everyone’s not careful.