Workplace Rule Basics: Social Media Etiquette for Employees

Before social media turned into a compelling recruiting, advertising, and branding tool, its primary purpose was to communicate with friends and family. As time passed, however, companies became aware of the business benefits of using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Nowadays, corporations are using this tool to gather market insights, boost traffic, increase sales, and effectively interact with customers.

Social media usage does have some drawbacks, though. Employees, for instance, could misuse social media and negatively affect their productivity. Workers, therefore, should use social media wisely and professionally in a way that would benefit their employer and improve their professional image.

If you’re working for a company, follow these rules when using any social media platform:

Think before You Post

Before you speak, you need to think about what you’re going to say. The same advice applies to social media. You need to be thoughtful about the stuff you post on your accounts. Some companies use a social media archiving platform to collect and record the posts you’ve been publishing online. If you post inappropriate stuff, your employer could record your posts and use them as evidence to fire you.

If you’re not sure that the news article, photo, or link is appropriate for the workplace, don’t post it. On top of that, if you’re going to share potentially sensitive news about your company online, you might want to clear that first with your employer or check your organization’s social media policy.

Create Separate Social Media Accounts for Personal and Professional Use

Draw a line between your professional and personal online identities by making separate accounts. By creating two profiles, you make sure that your professional message, voice, and branding goes through the right people.

Once you’ve made the separate accounts, avoid mixing business with pleasure. Post professionally relevant content only on your work account. The other non-work-related stuff should go to your personal account.

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Never Misrepresent Yourself

Dishonesty can have severe consequences on your professional and personal life. While misrepresenting yourself online might be easy because you can hide behind a screen, this plan will surely backfire once your employer or colleague finds out about your lies. A few of the actions that could get you canned are:

  • Inventing a professional-sounding job title on your LinkedIn profile to make you look good
  • Posting made-up rumors on your co-workers
  • Taking full credit for the accomplishments of your colleagues

Avoid Oversharing

Don’t use social media to share anything and everything about your life. Your feed on Facebook or Twitter should never read or sound like an inner monologue. While sharing a post or two about what you had for dinner is fine, talking about unimportant stuff every single day is the fastest way to lose followers and friends. Even if you’re not using your social media for professional use, your presence plays a significant role in building your personal brand. Instead of diluting your feed with irrelevant posts, focus on publishing posts that make your brand engaging, exciting, and representative of your best qualities.

Social media is indeed a powerful tool. Employees should follow these rules to maintain an engaging and respectful presence on any social media platform.

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