Keeping Your Social Media Employer-Friendly
According to the Pew Research Center, about 7 in 10 Americans use social media. It’s a fun way to connect with friends, share opinions, follow celebrities, and meet others who share your interests.
According to High Speed Internet, the average person spends 144 minutes each day accessing and using social media.
But did you know that your social media account can potentially get you into hot water with your employer? It can also prevent career advancement or even get you fired if you’re not careful.
That’s why it’s essential that you make sure that your social media is employer friendly.
13 Tips to Ensure You Have an Employer Friendly Social Media Account
Consider these tips the next time you want to post, tweet, or share anything on your social media accounts.
1. Understand your employer’s social media policy.
Most employers today have a policy about how their employees should conduct themselves on social media and online in general.
Ask your HR department for a copy of those policies and follow them to the best of your ability.
2. Don’t mention work.
Venting about work frustrations with a trusted co-worker at happy hour is one thing. But don’t let your complaints find their way into the social media stratosphere.
Never complain about your job, company, boss, or co-workers online. Remember, those comments live forever in cyberspace. You never know who may find them.
3. Avoid controversial topics.
Stay away from hot button issues like politics and religion. Discussions of those topics can quickly escalate into heated arguments and personal attacks.
Also, keep in mind that your company may not want to take a public political stance. You don’t want anyone thinking that your beliefs reflect the company’s beliefs.
4. Be nice.
Social media discourse has a nasty reputation. “Be nice” is one of the most basic rules to follow if you want to ensure that your social media posts are employer friendly.
Keep comments polite. If things start to get heated, then stop engaging.
5. Avoid Sharing TMI.
TMI stands for “too much information.” The anonymity of social media leads some people to share too many intimate details about their life.
It’s easy to forget that everything you write can be potentially seen by thousands of people. If you’re going through a hard time or feel the need to vent, talk to a trusted friend, your spouse, or licensed counselor.
Posting everything on social media can lead to feelings of regret and embarrassment later on.
6. Review and delete.
Every once in a while, go through your past posts to make sure they still meet the criteria of being employer friendly. Attitudes about what is socially acceptable change over time.
Something you thought was funny or insightful a few years ago might seem a bit “cringy” now. The good news is that you can delete anything that seems questionable.
7. Brag a bit.
Use the power of social media to boost your personal brand. Post about accomplishments you are proud of, whether work-related or not.
Let your followers know that you completed your first marathon, organized a successful fund-raiser for your daughter’s school, or nailed an important presentation at work.
When posting about work accomplishments, just keep out details that may be proprietary information such as the name of clients, any dollar amounts, or information that hasn’t been shared with the public yet.
8. Pick a good profile pic.
A profile pic says more about you than you probably realize. In just a few seconds someone will look at your picture and make all kinds of assumptions about your personality, work ethic, and maturity.
While the suited-up “LinkedIn” look isn’t necessary for Facebook or Instagram, you still want to look appropriate. In other words, avoid the selfie taken with you and your friends partying during spring break.
9. Prioritize privacy.
Take advantage of the privacy settings that social media accounts offer. With these settings, you can control who sees your posts, who tags you in photos, and who can share your content.
How extreme you want to get with these settings is up to you, but they will go a long way in keeping your social media employer friendly.
10. Don’t “friend” co-workers.
Don’t connect with co-workers or bosses on social media. Kindly explain to colleagues that want to “friend you” that you prefer to keep your professional life and virtual life separate.
If you want, you can suggest to coworkers that you connect on LinkedIn, which is a more appropriate platform for colleagues to interact with each other.
11. Engage in industry related discussions.
Post content and comment on posts that are relevant to your profession or industry. This demonstrates to current and future employers that you’re an informed and passionate professional.
12. Don’t use social media during work hours.
This might be the most obvious rule of keeping your social media employer friendly. Avoid the temptation to just check your Facebook page for a few minutes. Before you know it, an hour will have passed.
Plus, anything you post is time stamped, so it’s clear evidence that you were online when you should have been working.
13. When in doubt, delete.
Finally, before you post anything to your social media account, ask yourself “what would my employer think of this?” If you suspect that it might be even the least bit questionable, then delete the post. It’s just not worth the potential repercussions.
An Employer Friendly Social Media Account is Your Responsibility
Social media is a reality in today’s world and represents your online reputation, so you must remain vigilant about the content you choose to post and share. The 13 tips above will help you ensure that your social media accounts are employer friendly and show the best side of you.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.