Social media is a great way to connect with friends. For some, it’s also a fantastic way to stay even more connected with people from work. However, there are times when people lose their minds and forget that their private social media accounts are not so private.
By not realizing that everything said online is easy to find, young professionals and not-so-professionals can cost themselves. In some cases, the results are over the top, such as when a teacher lost her job over a photo of her with a glass of wine in one hand and a beer in the other. While we here at Kleer-Fax don’t recommend drinking beer and wine at the same time, we’re not so prude as to think that teachers over the age of 21 aren’t doing such wild and crazy things outside of the classroom.
Having said that, there are times when employees lose their jobs and deserve it because while being stupid is not a crime, it can be a fire-able offense.
What Not to do With Your Social Media Account
If you have friended or followed people you work with – particularly your boss or company profile – don’t say how much you hate your job or how stupid your boss is. Also, don’t go on a rant about the customers or post photos of yourself doing strange things in the office.
If you’re reading this and saying, “duh,” you might want to check the Facebook pages of people you know and make sure they aren’t doing anything of the sort. You might be surprised to find that many young people make drug references, or will even post comments that are very personal.
If you like these people, lend a hand and suggest they be a little less…..themselves. If they regularly insult you or make your life harder, be the anonymous source that leads to their demise.
Why do you Have a Social Media Account?
When you started your social media account, what was the purpose?
This is important because if it was a means of staying connected with relatives who live far away, you may want to maintain that by keeping it private and limiting access to only those people.
If you started it as a means to enhance your professional relationships, then the page needs to be tailored for that purpose. Posts shouldn’t include things that are political in nature unless you work in politics. Jokes should be appropriate to the environment where you work. And photos need to be limited to the image you are looking to portray.
For example, if you’re not a model or athlete, shots of you running on the beach or wind surfing should be limited to Vladimar Putin and President Obama, and their photos are only okay because of how much we benefit from Comedy Central’s faux news coverage of them.
How to use Social Media to Your Advantage
There are people who actually do make money using social media. It’s called digital marketing. Any promotions using a tablet, computer, or phone falls under this umbrella, and we use it at our company (check out our blog! Follow us on Twitter!).
One of the best examples we have found in the use of digital marketing is on Shoplet.com, a site with more than 400,000 products and 40,000 social media followers. Among the elements of what works for them is that they understand concepts like inbound marketing, ethics and professionalism in social media, and consumer psychology.
The last of these – consumer psychology – is crucial because when people decide to follow you, they are making a long-term buying decision, allowing you to market to them. You earned their trust and must continue to earn it by offering value on a regular basis, such as with giveaways, discounts, and useful information.
Social media is a great way to enhance your business. For those who want to use it for personal reasons, it can be just as beneficial, but just as companies shouldn’t make customers regret that they know them, employees need to do the same for themselves.