More and more, people are becoming brands. Originally, this only applied to certain high-level actors or athletes…people with millions of dollars at stake in their advertising appeal. But recent years have seen the concept expand throughout corporate culture. It trickled down from celebrities to CEOs to executives…until now, it’s true of regular work-a-day employees.
That means you. And the main tool you have for brand management is your social media presence. It’s not just a source of goofy memes and cat pictures. It has the potential to make or break your career.
With that in mind, you have to remain vigilant about your social media output. You want to make sure it reflects well on you…and promotes your long-term career advancement.
Here are seven tips to keep in mind so that your social media remains as work-friendly as possible:
Know Your Employer’s Policies
With the proliferation of social media, most companies have instilled formal policies to govern their employees’ online activities. Like inclusion policies or anti-harassment controls, the social media constraints provide the dos and don’ts of discourse.
Familiarize yourself with the policies and follow them to the best of your ability.
Don’t Talk About Work
Posting may feel like a conversation with friends, like you’re commiserating over drinks at happy hour. But remember: the conversation is essentially public.
Don’t talk about your mean boss, or the company’s unfair policies, or about your annoying coworkers. Assume everything you post is getting projected as a PowerPoint during a staff meeting.
Stay Away from Controversial Topics
This will be the first rule in your company’s policy as well. Stay away from hot-button subjects. Keep in mind that people can be sensitive about topics like politics and religion, and consider your output accordingly. It’s the basic common sense baseline for keeping your social media presence work-friendly.
Online discourse has a nasty reputation. Anonymous insults, aggressive trolling, cruel teasing – these are the usual marks of a stereotypical post. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Make an effort to stay positive in your social media output. Not only will it help you avoid problematic situations, but it might also win you followers and friends along the way.
Don’t Share Too Much
Because there’s a semi-anonymous quality to posting, a temptation exists to get aggressively honest and painfully open. You end up sharing things with thousands of followers that you wouldn’t say to most of them if you were sitting across from them in person.
While it may feel therapeutic at the moment, resist the temptation to over-share. It can only lead to trouble.
Things that seem funny or acceptable now can cause career problems down the road. Just ask James Gunn. Social attitudes change over time and you don’t want to suffer years from now for making what you consider an innocuous comment today.
To prevent this, regularly delete old posts, especially ones that feel a little suspect or cringy in the light of hindsight.
More than just a nest of potential traps that you have to avoid, there are ways to leverage social media to help your career. Treat it like your personal marketing department. You can highlight achievements and trumpet your accomplishments. It also represents an amazing networking opportunity.
Social media isn’t the only way to advance your career. A recruiter can help as well. By teaming with a strong staffing partner, like LaborMax, you increase your chances of finding the perfect opportunity.
Contact LaborMax today to find out more.