Personal social media policy

There are two types of social media policy, corporate and personal. Both are equally important and its up to you to be proactive about finding out what they are or developing your own.

Corporate Social Media Policy

Every company should or will have a social media policy for its employees.  It’s your job to find out what it is and adhere to it as part of the terms of your employment.  So many businesses have their own Facebook page or Instagram account and if you are going to contribute or connect using your personal social media sites you need to understand the limitations.

The link below will take you to the NSW Police Force Social Media Policy as an example of what corporate document might look like.

NSW Social Media Policy Guidelines

Personally I think all companies that have social media sites should run frequent policy seminars for their employees which also help educate them on social media and how to use it both professionally and personally.  Keeping your employees up to date with the latest in technology and how to cope with it can help to avoid any awkward moments for staff.  It can also help prevent any mistakes going viral, the video below shows what happened to some Dominos Pizza employees.

Its up to you to be aware of what your companies policy is on social media, and if you can’t find it, don’t be afraid to ask someone.  For some small businesses its unlikely that they will have such policies.  Its important that you raise this with them and discuss as terms of your employment what they are.  Businesses are becoming or will need to become more savvier in providing guidelines to ensure that only positive and appropriate content is published surrounding their brand.

Its the same as when you are giving the dress code for a company, if you were working for a law firm or banking institution, coming to work in running gear, sneakers and a cap would be inappropriate, however if you were working at Lorna Jane, this might be acceptable.  Some Executive Assistants that I know that work for law firms, have two Facebook profiles, with different names so that can’t be associated with who they work for in their bikini photos with cocktails in hand from their last Bali trip.

Personal Social Media Policy
1. Never post while drunk. While we would love to be in a world where people accepted that we all have a drunk photo, we don’t. Companies have been known to search through social media sites to get a better understanding of your character before they hire you.  People will judge you on the images that you post while having a wild night out with your friends, even though they probably have some of their own.

2. Keep your friends close and your personal stuff, well personal.  If you want the world to know about some things and not others, then you’ll have to be clear about what you share on what platform.  Facebook for example is really a place to connect with friends, unless you have a public page where you can share with unknown ‘likers’.  If you’d like to build up your personal ‘brand’ then use platforms like Pinterest, Instagram or LinkedIn and keep your Facebook profile private.  Also be careful about who you connect with on Facebook in a work space, otherwise they will see what you got up to on the weekend and it could be fodder for workplace gossip.

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3. Don’t write what you really about your employer.  Having a rant about your workplace, your boss or co-worker is unprofessional and career suicide, particularly if you name people and the company.  It could get out into the public arena and could be used against you.  If you have a problem, confront people face-to-face or go and speak to someone in your HR Department.

4. Taste your words on your tongue before you spit them out.  If you are a particularly passionate individual, you may just want to read, and reread your comment before you hit enter, send or post.  Apply and objective eye over the content that you post, even one small sentence, and be sure that you aren’t going to land yourself in hot water.  Its not to say you can’t experience and flourish in free speech, just be wary of peoples reactions could be and if you are prepared for them.

All of these tips seem pretty logical, but human nature dictates that some times we will slip up, especially in the heat of the moment and in the pace in which we produce and publish content.

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