“Don’t Hit Send”: Social Media Guidelines & Etiquette for the Workplace

There’s no denying that Social Media is here to stay. It’s almost impossible to have any sort of interaction without Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram being introduced. Whether it be a commercial, personal conversation, or business transaction; social media has become an all-too-important factor in our lives. The @ symbol has replaced the handshake, retweeting has replaced the simple phone call, and liking someone’s picture on Instagram can be taken as digital flirting. Times have changed and it’s arguable whether for better or worse.

It goes without saying that every business, no matter the size, should have some form of Social Media presence. More often than not business owners, as well as employees, are left to ponder what exactly they should and shouldn’t post. Recently the federal government established rules called “Standards of Conduct” that outline guidelines as to how an employee can go about fundraising, using one’s job title, seeking employment, as well as a host of other activities that are commonplace on Social Media. There are clear concrete rules that apply to the government, but what about the private sector?

1: Keep It Classy and Professional

Yes, your animals and toddler are adorable but potential customers want to see content relevant to the business, not an angry cat meme as your profile picture. Make sure to keep business pages separate from your personal pages.

2: #Synergy

People are visiting your business page because they like your business; they don’t necessarily like you. Posting about your personal life and beliefs could turn off your followers. Keep your content relevant to your business. It’s great to post about sales, specials, new technology or offers. If your selfies have nothing to do with your business, don’t hit send.

3: Please Follow Me :’(

Nothing reeks of desperation more than online solicitation. The purpose of the news feed and Facebook ads is to attract and retain new business. Nobody wants to be bothered with messages asking for followers.

4: I’m Playing Farmville. Would you like to play Farmville?

The business page was made for “business.” Your customers/clients do not want game, birthday, or app requests.

5: “Hmm will this bite me where the sun don’t shine?”

The old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” does not apply to this. Don’t post anything that your boss/manager would disapprove of. If you’ve been assigned the job of updating and managing your company’s social media, make sure you know the boundaries of what you can and cannot post. Avoid bashing competitors.

6: Never PUI (Post Under the Influence)

Never post under the influence of a bad review or negative feedback. Potential customers do not want to see you get into a social media war with an angry customer. Sleep on it. They have freedom of speech, but keep things professional. Make yourself seem like the bigger person.

7: And lastly…For Pete’s sake use spell-check!!!