Personal social media posts within your official role: how to strike a balance?
Social media has become an integral part of modern life. It keeps us in touch with friends and family, it informs us about our world, and it gives us a platform allowing us to be heard.
Social media can be a powerful force for good, and most organisations would encourage their employees to use social media in positive ways.
But many a times, your personal voice and beliefs may not align completely with your official one. How should this issue be navigated?
•Disclose your official role.
•Protect your organisation's vision and mission
•Use common sense when posting
Anyone can say anything on the internet. It is both the platform’s greatest strength and chief weakness. When you are posting on the internet, your integrity is on display for the entire world to see, so strive to be ethical, truthful, and decent.
When you are posting about your organisation, include the official handles and hashtags This lets people know that you have an affiliation that you actually believe in. In the bio section of your social media account, use a caveat: "Views are personal".
If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out and be specific about what it is.
Be yourself! Stick to your area of expertise. Only write about what you know.
Protect your organisation(s)
Many employees know things about the work that could affect their programmes or prospects. It is essential to safeguard sensitive information, especially on the internet.
Protecting your brand is part of your job, so posting any confidential information or stuff that is not meant for public consumption information is a huge no-no. If the information has not been officially released by your organisation, don’t discuss it. This includes financial information, partnership information, and legal information.
Don’t slam your organisation or your competitors, unless you are an authorized spokesperson, identified, selected, and approved by your organisation. If you are unsure whether or not to post something, err on the side of caution and don’t.
Anything you publish must be true and not misleading, and all claims must be substantiated.
Use Common Sense
When you are online, you are representing your organisation's people and its values. There is no room for bigotry, prejudice, misogyny, or hatred in most companies!
Did you mess up? It happens. If you make a mistake, admit it immediately. Apologize if you need to. Be upfront, and correct the error as soon as possible.
If you're posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so.
Done right, your social media presence can be a powerful way to remain connected and build your voice. However, from public spats, online abuse to legally chargeable threats, it's a morass out there. Take care of your social media presence!