We live in a world where social media is heavily intertwined with our everyday lives. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, we have more than enough social outlets to express ourselves and share our lives with friends. Social media is an awesome way to interact with people from around the world and share your thoughts. For companies, it is a great way to advertise at a fairly low cost. In the business world social media has much more weight and importance. We all know what someone says about a company on social media can have detrimental effects. Many often forget that what an employee of a company says on social media can also be damaging.
Represent yourself the best way
When you start a job, you are now a representation of that company at all times. Although your social media pages may be personal, what you post still is a representation of your place of employment. Things such as,
- Using profanity
- Posting inappropriate photographs
- Speaking negatively about your company
- Arguing with others on social sites
- Bashing competitors
- Releasing confidential work information
- Posting offensive content
can potentially get you in hot water with any employer. Of course, one may use their personal page the way they feel best represents them, but this can sometimes be harmful to their overall perception.
They will find it
What you posts almost never goes away. Although you delete posts they can still be found and companies will invest to recover those posts. You are also much easier to find than you may think. There are several websites designed specifically to find people on social sites. According to a new survey conducted by On Device Research, 1 in 10 people aged 16 to 34 have been turned down for a job because of something they have posted on a social media website. Try Googling yourself and seeing what comes up. If the first thing you see is your crazy Facebook photos from your wild weekend, maybe you should rethink leaving those for the world to see. In 2015, 18 percent of employers have dismissed employees because of something they posted on social media, according to CareerBuilder.
Play it safe
The best way to handle social media is to play it safe. Make sure to have your accounts set on private at all times and avoid adding managers or supervisors as friends or followers if you can. If you have to question it, do not post it. There are many ways to express yourself without being inappropriate, offensive or hurting the company. Take the professional route if things seem to get sticky and constantly represent yourself in a way you want others to see you. Don’t be afraid to share, engage and have fun, but also don’t hesitate to monitor your posts because you never know who is watching.
Below are 3 prime examples of how posting on social media can cost you your job.
- “A former colleague of mine posted about how he was going to use up all his sick leave then quit. He posted it at 9 a.m., and was told he didn’t have a job at 11 a.m.”
- “A prospective employee at the company I work for had just passed his interview, and was told that all he needs to do is pass a drug test and a physical and he would start on Monday. Someone found the new hire on Facebook and the guy had just posted 20 minutes after the interview, “anyone know how to pass a drug test in 24 hours?!” He was never hired.
- “I posted a blog post on Myspace in 2005 that got me discharged from the Army.”