Following the recent Blog, from Alex Charraudeau, on the dangers of social media in business, I thought I’d follow this up on a more personal level and look at how easily social media can damage your personal reputation.
The name Social Media defines the new world and allows the ordinary man on the street to have a voice, as well as those large brands with volume, but this brings with it a level of transparency in communication we have never had before. Big Brother doesn’t need to try very hard these days to listen.
Twitter and LinkedIn are almost entirely public with Facebook (depending on your privacy settings) being quite open, and much of the discussion is open to a wide range of individuals. Whether this is your direct network contacts or indirect contacts, there are normally only one or two degrees of separation between people. This is especially true within the recruitment sector.
There has been much discussion recently about the power of brand and the influence a business has over an individual’s brand perception. Employer brand and personal brand can be intrinsically linked and everyone, not just those in positions of responsibility should bare this in mind. Your Twitter profile may state that your thoughts do not reflect those of your company, but if you are known as the Head of Resourcing for Big Company Plc or the Systems Analysis Manager, you will be linked to your brand.
Social Media can be a dual edged sword and when passions run hire in debate, a throw away comment can quickly be taken out of context and spread across the ether, to be read by anyone. That “anyone” could be your next HR Director, a candidate considering applying for a job or a potential client.
Some good common sense tips for anyone using social media, especially those who are linked with a company.
- Really think before you post
- Reread what you've written to ensure it won't be misunderstood
- If you're not in a calm, professional mood, don't post.
- Check randomly generated URL's
- Remove foul language from your everyday vocabulary
My Grandmother always said “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. A strongly worded response to a discussion on LinkedIn or writing a particularly controversial blog, may seem justified at the time, be welcomed by your inner circle, and certainly get you noticed, but remember you never quite know who is reading. It would be wise to remain #social at all times and don’t run the risk of becoming #antisocial.