Take responsibility for your reputation, before your reputation takes over you, or in modern parlez, 'your brand is what others perceive it to be'.
One of my favourite Christmas films is the classic 'A Wonderful Life', for me and my family its a perennial film to watch, and a great lesson about life.
Without spoiling it for you , there's one part of the film that leads our hero into some pretty disastrous thinking, this is created by rumours that have been spread about the 'financial' health of his bank, those rumours then started a 'run' on the bank with potentially immense consequences.
Social media is here, it's not going away and there are now 3.5 Billion people globally who are active on various social networking platforms around the globe, the basis of these platforms are borne out of mans (and women's) desire to be the social animals that makes us who we are, ever since we were cave dwellers sitting around the camp fire sharing stories about new hunting methods, new hunting grounds, places and scary things to stay away from.
Some of our early cave dwelling ancestors even felt the need to share stories by 'cave painting' to embellish, and preserve the stories for other younger people in the tribe.
As we evolved we joined and created larger communities, where the first small villages, and then cities started to grow, so yes, being social is nothing new, and neither is an individuals or communities reputation.
With the growth of of those communities came rumour, and false news, some harmless gossip, some designed to create confusion, mistrust, and undermine a person, or countries reputation.
Which is why when I read the article on the BBC News site (link below) about how a companies social media presence can be used for 'fake news', and utilised by hackers it resonated with me, because we see far too many companies using social platforms to simply 'advertise and promote' in the same way they've been doing for years, and why audiences are simply turning away from the intrusive advertising industry in huge disruptive numbers, which in turn is diluting the trust and reputation they have because their digital footprint is all about them, and not really about us.
So, when a brand gets hacked, sometimes, based upon our perceived view of that brands reputation we get drawn into the click bait that hackers are looking for.
Social media if used within the right context, framework, mindset and skills can unleash a 'Superpower' so strong it can help to reduce the impact of some bot or hacker using your brand (reputation) for evil.
In May, for example, shares in the UK's Metro Bank plunged 11% before it could shake off inaccurate social media rumours that it was facing financial difficulties.