How often do you use the computer for social networking?
What you say on social networks in your off hours can most certainly rise to termination, says Cyber Safety and Social Media Expert Shawn Marie Edgington.
Edgington, author of the bestselling book, "The Parent's Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World," says if you mix personal with business on social media, you run a risk. There is a line between personal and your professional life, and you want to make sure you understand what it is... so you don't cross it.
10 Things You're Doing on Social Media That Could Cost You Your Career
1. Stop Being Moody
If you're complaining that it's Monday or happy it's Friday, it could be perceived as you not liking your job. Keep your mood off social media.
2. Posting Public Facebook Messages
Keep your Facebook posts private -- this means, between you and your close circle of friends. Keep in mind, however, this does not mean your Facebook posting are private. If you post, anyone can copy and paste, forward to others, take a screen grab, etc. Anything you post on social media can be public in a second! However, if you keep your content between friends, it does lower your odds of having any resulting issues at work.
3. Posting During Work Hours
If you're posting personal content on Facebook during work hours it means you're not working and instead, you're bringing your team down. If your friends or friends of friends work with you, it's possible someone could get so fed up they'll rat you out. If you're posting photos on Facebook about your weekend and it's a Tuesday afternoon… you're jeopardizing your job.
4. Stop Talking About Your Co-Workers... and Boss
Never post about your co-workers or boss on social networks. Anything you write can be easily construed as negative, sarcastic or offensive. You never know who you are offending. What could be funny to you reads as harassment, bullying or inappropriate gossip to someone else. Your 'friends' will turn you in.
5. Stop Being a Newswire for Your Company
Don't post about problems at your company. Any negative information could insult your clientele, fellow employees, and may be inaccurate. Anything that related to your work, company, needs to stay off of your social network.
6. Venting & Speaking Your Mind
Do not confuse Facebook as your private diary. Facebook is a public domain and it's not a place to write your personal thoughts. This is especially true when posting prejudice thoughts. If you choose to write about race, religion and your political beliefs, you run a serious risk. It's likely what you believe in conflicts with your company's beliefs and value system. No trash talking!
7. 'Like' Overload
Watch what brands, companies and organization you are liking on Facebook. If you like something that's not in line with your company's beliefs, it's a risk. Clicking the like button is not protected as free speech and is a fire-able offense.
8. Checking-In 24-7
Think before you check-in to a place and it automatically posts on a social network -- especially if you've called in sick for the day. Also, watch what types of places you check-in to. If your stream is a feed of bars where you've checked-in over the weekend, a potential employer may question your interests.
Facebook Questions is an easy way to chime in on a conversation, but watch what you're saying about yourself. Participating in polling could hurt you. Especially depending on what the poll is asking. Watch where you speak your mind.
10. Tagging without Asking
It's important -- before you tag someone, ask them for permission. There is such a thing as tagging etiquette. If you randomly tag a bunch of people, someone may find it offensive. If a friend you tagged in a photo drinking a glass of wine works with youth, parents could find it offensive. Remember, you don't know who is seeing tagged photo, if your friend's permissions are lenient.
11. Drinking and Social Media Do Not Mix
Don't enjoy a glass of wine and start a Twitter party.
12. Automatically 'Liking' Your Company
Shawn does not recommend connecting your personal Facebook page to your company's page (unless you are very social media savvy). It really can be disastrous. It's then easy for a lot of co-workers and managers to easily find you and see what you're posting. Also, if you 'like' your employer's page, you may be required to adhere to company values when posting.
13. Adding People You Don't Know
Remember, it's a small world and you never know who is reading what you're posting.
14. Connecting Accounts
Be careful if you have preferences set to blast a tweet every time you post on Facebook and vice versa. Twitter is a public domain and searchable on Twitter. Just because your Facebook privacy settings are up to par, you may have neglected your Twitter. Be careful not to cross promote. These social communities are very different and request different through processes when posting to each.
15. Keep Face-to Face Conversation Off Your Wall
Facebook is not a real-life conversation. Posting on a wall does not override having a personal conversation. What you may say in person does not translate well on a Facebook wall. Also, a joke between friends on a wall post may be misconstrued by a friend or visitor to your page.
Remember, it you have a personal Facebook page and a business page, be careful how you mix promoting yourself. People like to check Facebook and do background checks all the time. For instance, if you have children, classmates and parents are checking your page to see if they should allow their kids to spend a day at your house; if they see something on your page that's questionable... it could cause a ripple effect of problems for your children. Don't forget that some people are not as accepting as others. If you have a non-mainstream job, as seen with the mom dominatrix on today's show, it's advised to keep your pages private.
A great tip is to set up a Google alert for your name, and your kids' names. That way, if someone is talking about you or your family, you're the first to know.
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