Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, blogging… Most of us make use of social media every day. Sometimes, our interactions extend beyond the personal and into the workplace, and that can be a bad move! Yes, social media can play a positive role at your company, but we’ve got six mistakes that can spell trouble.
Having a public profile. This is many people’s first mistake: making their profile so accessible that anyone can easily find them. It is recommended you keep your profile private (or at least make use of Facebook’s various privacy settings), and only accept friend requests of people whom you don’t mind following you.
Being active during office hours. If you sit in front of a computer all day that has Internet access, it can be very tempting to check and update your Twitter and Facebook pages. However, unless your job requires you to interact with social media on a daily basis, it’s best you do so after five o’clock. After all, you never know who’s reading your two o’clock tweet when you’re supposed to be hard at work!
Posting compromising photos of yourself online. In the same vein that you don’t know who’s reading your status updates, you never know who’s viewing your photos, either. That Friday you called in “sick”? Well, those photos of you enjoying the warm weekday out with friends can come back to haunt you if ever a colleague or superior stumbles upon them. And that photo of you having too much of a good time on Saturday night? Even if you didn’t post it on Facebook, maybe one of your friends did, and who knows whom she’s friends with or what her privacy settings are! So be sure to not tag yourself in any such photos, and ask friends to remove any pictures of you that you’re not comfortable with… or just untag yourself from them.
Updating your Facebook status with work woes. We all have rough days at work, and often want to vent to anyone who’ll listen. However, Twitter isn’t exactly the best forum to go on about how much you hate your boss…
Having one account for both work and play. So you have a Twitter and/or Facebook account that colleagues and clients follow you on… as do all your friends. This can be a tricky situation, but that can be easily rectified by either being more aware of what you post (which we highly suggest), or by having two accounts: one personal, and one more work-friendly. Also, if you are on the lookout for another job or want to build and expand your own brand, it’s best to have a separate account that no one at work knows of.
Not being aware of the effects social media can have on your career. Some people may think a compromising photo or a negative status update isn’t the end of the world, and that there won’t be any immediate ramifications. However, the online world is vast, so photos can follow you wherever you go for years to come. Any future employers can stumble upon something incriminating with just a quick Google search if you don’t stop it ahead of time!
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