The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media for Work

10 easy-to-follow tips for using social media effectively to support your career progress and project work with Momenta.

5 General Social Media Do’s

Do set up profiles on key social media platforms.

You should have a social media presence these days and most employers expect it. LinkedIn is now well established for professionals and the ‘go to’ place for finding details on virtually any professional and the place you and your employability skills should be showcased. It’s a giant search engine for talent, proved itself to be useful for career progress and professional advancement and you can control how your profile is optimised to help you to stand out and be found for your skills and experience. Adding Facebook, Instagram or Twitter can complement this as well.

Do look at your privacy settings.

Just because you’re on social media doesn’t mean you need to bare your soul to the world. These days, the social media platforms offer users a wide range of privacy options which enable you to choose what and when you share. The key tip here is to make conscious choices about your privacy settings. Do take time to consider the approach you want to take.

Do share, be social and interact.

Social media is a great way to connect with and share experiences and your expertise with others. Interacting with others’ activity in a considered and positive way that is consistent with your personal brand and values is smart thing to do. It’s a way to build your presence and even to become slightly famous for your skills and areas of expertise. So, do take the opportunity to comment, compliment or respond to the posts and shares of others. Doing this on topics relevant to your expertise can build your personal brand by associating you with smart views and useful content.

Do exercise caution as you post, comment and interact.

Knee-jerk reactions and rude or hurtful comments are likely to lead to regret. One rule of thumb to consider before posting a comment is could you be happy for it to be shared on the front of a major daily newspaper? Some people forget that their comments and interactions on social media are public and enduring. If you wouldn’t be happy to see your view up in lights, you should probably re-assess your words.

Do research companies and potential employers. Social media is a fantastic source of information and opinion. While you can find out the official position of any company from their website, the right searches across the social platforms are likely to reveal the insider views of employees as well as the real experiences of customers. If you’re looking for the truth, searching social media can quickly reveal hidden nuggets of insight positive and negative.

 

5 Social Media Don’ts

Don’t forget to follow approved protocol when mentioning employers and projects online.

If you are contracted on a project basis, it is never appropriate to refer to the client as your direct employer. This includes all elements of your online profiles including your professional headline, your role titles and the descriptions of your experience. The approved way to describe your experience is “worked on a Company X-run project” or “worked on a project run by a leading UK bank” or “worked on a project run by a Big 4 accounting firm”, etc.

Don’t reveal confidential company information on social media.

It is never appropriate to refer to or reveal confidential project details online. This includes office location as an example and applies to all social media sites and blog, comments, etc. This will be detailed in the small print around your contract, but you must also realise that this legal obligation to your client is ongoing and extends indefinitely beyond the period of the project.

Don’t rant or complain about an employer.

If you have an issue or disagreement with a business, the professional way is to approach the appropriate person within that business to discuss the detail. In the heat of the moment, airing the issue to the world via social media may seem to provide some satisfaction, but the reality is that it can reflect very badly on you and may result in longlisting unwanted repercussions.

Don’t stalk interviewers or business leaders.

While it is usually a very good idea to investigate your interviewer prior to your interview, there is a line that should never be crossed. Confine your research to their LinkedIn career history to understand their background and how to best frame your answers to appeal to them. Don’t probe into their personal life. Mentioning their children or hobbies at interview could easily lead to a very uncomfortable moment.

Don’t misjudge the social media platform for your content or message.

Few things upset the social media community more than the inappropriate use of the medium. It’s widely accepted that your political views are not helpful content. Sharing personal or dating related content on any professional platform, especially LinkedIn is hugely ill-advised. Likewise pushing your company information or selling via your personal Facebook or Instagram account is unlikely to win business, but very likely to raise disapproval among your social friends.