How to approach social media at work
Whether an organisation has committed to having a social media presence yet or not, it's important to establish guidelines that spell out the rules and standards of online engagement and behaviour for your employees. It can be difficult to achieve a balance in promoting an open community and maintaining consistency with the messages surrounding your organisation. Here are a few helpful hints to help ensure that you are approaching social media in the right way in relation to your job.
Hint no.1: Use common sense
Your message on the social web can be read by anyone. You are searchable and what you say can spread and stays online forever so use common sense. If you choose to include your company and your employer in your bio or profile on a social site, conduct yourself professionally there. Be transparent and identify yourself clearly as an employee of the company in any business-related discussions. Ask yourself: would I be comfortable with my boss or CEO reading this message?
Hint no.2: Embrace your personality
Be yourself and feel free to say what is on your mind but do so respectfully. Connect with colleagues and engage with the public relations community. Provide value, share content, ask questions and participate in industry conversations. Ask yourself: Am I contributing to the conversation in an engaging, interesting and productive manner?
Hint no.3: Be nice
Don't vent, bash or poke fun at people, businesses, companies, brands, competitors or geographical locations. Do feel free to ask questions that share your opinion in a respectful manner. Think before posting and when in doubt...don't! Ask yourself: Will this message offend anyone, especially a client or potential client?
Hint no.4: Protect confidential information
Social media can blur many of the traditional boundaries between internal and external communications. Be mindful of the difference. Ask yourself: Am I sharing information this that is sensitive to business practice or strategy?
Hint no.5: Don't forget your day job
Make sure that your online activities do not interfere with your job. Ask yourself: If I am using work time for discussion via social media is it keeping with the performance of my job duties?