Social Media Etiquette for the workplace


Today it is very easy to know almost anything you want about anyone through a simple Google search. Therefore your various social media accounts act as your digital resume. Therefore it is important that you think through carefully about how you come across on social media. And what your personal brand is ?  Employers, Bosses and Co-Workers can tell a lot about you by flipping  through your Facebook,Instagram or Twitter account and know a lot more about the person.

So whether you’re on a Job Hunt,being interviewed or are already employed here are some Social media Rules that you’ll want to keep in mind to make sure you don’t get into trouble.

Where You Work – Wherever you work you become their Brand Representative. You may want to start thinking about what you post and if it will be misconstrued in any way. You could land yourself in hot water with your views on Politics, Religion, People, the tone you use and how you word your views. This also reflects on the Company you work for. You may want it so your social media accounts reflect your maturity and positivity.

Social Media Ranting – If you are frustrated with your boss, co worker or client who is driving you up the wall, this is not where you should let off steam. There are a number of examples of really talented smart professionals getting into trouble when they are found speaking not so nicely about their colleagues or clients on Social Media.That’s what family and friends are for, so pick up the phone and let off steam.

Working Hours – Contantly Facebooking, Instagramming or tweeting through your working hours is a no-no. If your updating your facebook status every half hour you’re letting  everyone know your slacking off.

Confidentiality – What happens in the office stays at the Office. Employees are expected to keep company information confidential. If you know of a big announcement then don’t even give spoiler alerts. Remember that you most probably signed a confidentiality agreement in your contract. So know when to keep mum.

Privacy Settings – Make those privacy settings work for you. Especially if you don’t want to censor your Selfies and party pictures. This works even if you have a co-worker who you don’t want on your facebook page but want to say No to their friend request. (although you should actually say no if you don’t want someone on your page) You can keep your settings such that they cant see everything you post.

Sharing your personal views – This one is important, while you may be letting off steam about your personal life or sharing your views on a trending topic. Remember that people are reading these comments and are making up their minds about you. A politically charged comment or a comment made against a specific religion or religious group, passing and sharing insensitive or politically incorrect jokes can get you in a lot of trouble especially with the law. I have been known to make a tasteless remark about someone on a community platform as a comment and a friend happened to read that thread and she asked me about it when we met. I was so mad at myself. Needless to say I never did that again. When emotional or angry definitely do stay away from Social media lest you get trigger happy.

A Personal lesson – If you want to let someone know your hurt or upset with them don’t send them a message via Facebook. Don’t post a quote/saying about ” karma coming back to get you” etc. Everybody who knows  it knows you are trying to send a message. It causes speculation and the conclusion that you are unhinged. I’ve had a bunch of people Unfollow an ex colleague after he and another colleague indulged in a nasty Facebook fight with a 3rd colleague over differing views on a celebrity.

Take some time and decide what you want your personal brand to say about you. What do you want to stand ? How do you want to be perceived socially by your friends and peers.

As part of my work in image consulting personal branding is an area that we work on with clients. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need help in this area.

Do share in the comments below any other tips you have regarding social media etiquette in the work place.