I must admit I am pretty new to social media. I don’t have a FaceBook or a Twitter account and as I am typing this article, I am seriously contemplating joining LinkedIn. In fact, before the birth of MiddleMe, I only have a tiny good old blog which is for my eyes only. I am what most people out there, called a social media recluse.
It is not that I have a fear of social media, quite reverse in fact, I have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of social media and the heights it could achieve. Marketing and advertising have taken a whole new meaning with start of the era of social media. Printed media are slowly a dying breed, many of which opting to jump right into the race by offering online subscriptions as well, hoping to stretch out their worth just a little longer. No longer do you need to bring your swanky new bag to work to show off when all you need to do is to take an Instagram and post online.
While I understand the power of social media, I couldn’t see then the benefits it brings me as a person. I am a private person and I don’t really want to shout out where I have been or what’s my lunch. The social media slowly creeped in two years ago when I opted to use WeChat to communicate with the folks back home when I was relocated to Shanghai. And now, to spread the word and awareness of MiddleMe as well as to reach out to folks who could benefit from this website, I quickly realised that no other platform could help me effectively bridge a gap between me and you.
Above is a great example when social media is used positively for career purposes. However, poor social media management can mean bad news too. Raise up your hands if you have heard or read about someone making a public blunder on the internet. I have come across so much incidents more than my fingers could count. So prevent making a FaceBook blunder, here are the list of things you should really avoid…
1. Inappropriate photos
You may wish to let the whole world (or your fanbase) to know how much you love your significant other but posting a profile photo of you smooching him or her, is really not appealing to your colleagues. You may want to keep the photos in a restricted view file only shared to your closest friends and not your whole company.
HR and hiring managers do sometimes google the candidate’s profile online especially if the job nature is sensitive or requires a lot of representation ie. Sales jobs. You do want them to have a good impression of you before they call you up for interview. Flaunting in a bikini in a drunken state on a profile photo does not really portray maturity and sophistication that they are looking for in their next manager.
2. Add everyone in your company
Its okay to whine to your friends once in a while on how much you don’t want to drag yourself off the bed today, how much you dread today’s meeting and how horrible your boss are for making you stay overtime for the 3rd time this week. Before you click the submit button, please try to remember if you have added your boss or your colleagues from 5 cubicles down in your FaceBook.
One of my ex-colleagues Francis (*not his real name) had commented on his Twitter on how boring the company dinner was last night and how he managed to ‘score’ with the new receptionist. Quote “Dinner sucks, man! Totally waste my time, lucky Jeanette* is here to entertain me.” To give him credit, he did checked that he did not add any of his bosses nor his colleagues however, his cousin who used to work in the same company as him and have the whole company as his followers, retweet his message.
You can assumed that Jeanette and Francis did not stayed very long in the company.
If you couldn’t resist in adding everyone in your company including the 50 years old carpark attendant and the auntie selling laksa at your cafeteria, please at least think, omit and edit before you post anything. An important rule – if you are on medical leave, stay away from social media.
Adam* who was reporting to me had texted me on Monday morning that he is running a fever and is on the way to the doctor’s. I reassured him that we would cover his work and hand it up in time for the deadline and he should get as much rest as possible. Could you imagine my fury when I discovered through his FaceBook page that he is enjoying himself at Sentosa celebrating some chick’s birthday on the beach while the rest of us had take away dinners at 9.
Well, he did have to explain his sunburn to HR the next day.
4. Posting Company Stuff
It depends on your company’s policy. Unless you are the appointed marketing social media in charge, its common sense never to post pictures or comments on not yet launched products or services. I’m pretty sure that your company will not appreciate the free advertising. Some companies have this rule written in their employees handbook, be sure to read it up. It can be range from posting a photo of your new desk to bitching about the new intern assigned to you. Just make sure your ass is covered.
On another note, you will get haters for posting your salary or how much bonus you get this year. The next thing you know, you probably will get a call from your friendly HR.
5. Keep somethings private Private
Sure, you want to let the world knows you had salad for lunch yesterday, today and tomorrow. But if you are having a lovers’ tiff, do take it offline. You do not want the whole department to avoid you like plague the next day just because they read about how he forgotten your anniversary.
Quote from one of my colleague “Its so hard to look at my director in the eye in the morning when last night, his Facebook postings was about him regretting the divorce with his wife, how sorry he was caught cheating by her and how shit-faced drunk he is.”
6. Black & White
Remember whatever you post on social media even if it is private messaging, it is still black and white. There is such thing called screenshot even the person doesn’t retweet your message back. Be safe, not sorry. Anything you don’t want a 3rd party to know, its better to keep it face to face.
Also do be social media responsible and avoid making any insensitive remarks. You do not wish to be known as the girl who cracks insensitive racist jokes or be the one who posted a photo of yourself with a peace sign with a terrible car accident in the background. As much as you are entitled to your own opinions in your own network space, you probably will want to work amicably and be likeable with the diverse group of colleagues in your company who is a follower of your tweet.
Feeling there is too much to swallow? Do what a lot of folks are doing, keep a private and a public account. That way, you know whatever you are sharing are in safe eyes.
I believe there are plenty more blunders to avoid. Do you know any? If yes, please care to share using below comments or do drop me an email to share your views @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Not their real names