You’ve heard the rumors, the horror stories and the success stories. You know the positives and negatives of using social media for promoting yourself and your business. Though it may seem obvious at times what you should and shouldn’t do, people are breaking the rules left and right.
The ABSOLUTE Do Not’s
Never ever, no matter how bad of a day you’re having, no matter how miserable you are, no matter what life debacles you’re facing, under any circumstances write about how much you hate your job or hate an employer or even fellow employee on the Internet. It doesn’t matter if you’re not Facebook friends or that they don’t follow you on Twitter. The Internet is public domain, and certainly no place to post your every thought and feeling. Even if you think you’re stuck at the worst job in the world, if you value keeping that job and receiving money, don’t complain! Well, you can complain but in private, in person—which can sometimes be a little risky as it is. But there’s no reason to tweet out for all to see that you think your boss is a spawn of the devil. That’s just a do-not-enter zone.
On the other side of the spectrum, don’t become a harbinger of all things work-related. Regardless of whether or not you love your job, your social media accounts shouldn’t revolve around what you’re doing at work this minute, or asking people to spotlight your company on their blog. You’ll quickly go from someone very pleased with their working situation to someone other people on the Internet see as an annoying spammer. Don’t be the person to friend request anyone you see of any importance on Facebook who could bolster your career or promote where you’re currently working. Social media has one key word that’s often forgotten: social! While you should definitely dedicate some time to promoting your business and tweeting articles, it’s also important to interact with people on a friendly or helpful basis. Find people asking questions, and give them tips or strike up the occasional conversation with a friend. It’s not the end of the world to use social media for some entertainment and potential connection making.
Social Media is Your Friend
While some people cower in fear at the thought of tweeting or posting helpful articles on Facebook—especially after hearing about people getting fired because of what they post—it’s important to remember that social media is more beneficial than it is negative. If used correctly, social media can even land you a job! Really, all it takes is some common sense, a friendly attitude and a proactive mindset to make the most out of social media. You need to take your accounts outside the realm of just spamming or delving more into your personal life than necessary. It’s important to remember that although you’re writing and interacting on your personal accounts, you shouldn’t treat it like a free for all. Think of the online world as an extension of the everyday real world. Proper grammar, talking to others with respect and actually providing useful and insightful information is a must if you want social media to work in your favor. Don’t cower away from the Internet, but immerse yourself into blogs, forums, and what have you to promote yourself and your business in a positive way.
Right from Wrong
It’s as simple as right and wrong when it comes to using social media at work. Don’t say anything bad about your business in any way. Even if it’s just teasing, it could still cause some harm. Don’t spam everyone you know constantly with what you and your business is doing; it’s not helpful, it’s annoying. Remember that the Internet is an open forum; people can access basically anything they want, so while your unsettled tweets about your job might not cause any problems now, they could in the future. Make your English teachers proud and spell correctly with complete sentences as much as possible, and use your best manners online. Live by the rule, if you wouldn’t say or do it in the workplace, then definitely don’t post it online.