This is the time of year where we are all starting to look forward to the Year-end functions and of course a long holiday! But it is also at this time that business professionals need to take extra care on Social Media.
In South Africa, Facebook is still the most popular social media network with 11.8 million users (9.2 million of which access the network on their phones), followed by YouTube at 7.2 million, Twitter at 6.6 million and LinkedIn 3.8 million users. Because Social Media is so intricately woven into the fabric of our personal and professional lives, it makes sense to have some basic rules of civility.
Keep your profile professional
Firstly when setting up your social media profiles always be professional. Use a proper name. No one will gain respect by using a name like HotChick. The same goes for your profile picture. Pick a photo that shows who you are but one you’d be happy sharing with your boss or mother. Photos that are good for profile pictures are from sporting events, fun family gatherings or just a simple portrait will suffice.
Be respectful to your network
Respect can go a long way in maintaining a professional image. This means be mindful of what you post at all times. Your network do not want to know your every move every second of the day. It also means to keep what you post clean and positive. Social media is definitely not the place to air grievances, dirty laundry or tell the world just how horrible your boss is! Remember that comments you make on social media will follow you – Whatever you say on social media stays on Google forever. Don’t invite your friends to play games and other time-wasters.
Tag with consideration
Don’t post and tag images that will show others in a bad light. And definitely don’t tag others just because you want the post to appear in their newsfeed. Unless the post is relevant to the person, don’t tag them.
No tweeting during a meeting
Common courtesy still applies, even in social media. Don’t tweet or post on social media while in a meeting, having lunch, coffee or just a conversation with others. Give people your full attention when you’re with them.
Don’t make it all about YOU
Social media is all about networking. Make a point of commenting and liking your friends’ tweets and posts. You can apply the same sage advice from Dale Carnegie when it comes to using social media. Be engaging, ask open-ended questions and don’t make it all about you.