Social Media Policy
Just like it has changed our social interactions, social media has found its way into almost all aspects of business, from marketing to hiring. Many businesses are using social media as an online reputation management tool and have systems in place to monitor the web for any mention of their name or brand. That diligence will often carry over to a company’s hiring managers, so if you’re looking to land a new job, it might be time to do some social media management of your own.
When hiring, many employers will look for a candidate who will fit best on the team, even if they are slightly less experienced. Having a clean, professional social media presence can be the deciding factor for a job finalist. Most businesses with social media policies realize the importance of online reputation management and want employees who will share their values.
Your personal experiences with Facebook and Twitter have probably shown you that nothing is as private as you think it is, and once it’s on the Internet, it’s up forever. No matter how private you think a comment might be, it can quickly become public and lead to negative consequences. It’s the social equivalent of a snarky Reply All email. The ability to share comments and links increases the risk that private messages may come back to haunt you.
Managing Social Media Messages
There are steps you can take to better manage what you share and what others share about you online. Each social media platform will vary in options and tools that allow users to control privacy settings.
- Review privacy setting and manually change setting to private if needed
- Disable photo tagging (Very important to reduce maliciously false tags on inappropriate photos)
- Disable geo tracking and date and time
- Review social media pages you subscribe to (some business pages will use you as a referral or sponsor for online ads)
- Reduce the amount of third party apps (Each third party app has your information and their own privacy policies)
- Set up a Google Alerts for your name.
Don’t let your social media message sabotage your job interview. When talking about how to land your dream job Greta Schulz, says to “do lots of research in advance”. This includes knowing a company’s values, mission and reputation. By knowing what message a company is sharing through its social media accounts you will have a better idea what your interviewer will be looking for. Double check your own social media profiles to make sure the message you are sending out to the world is not conflicting with the company’s message.
Being aware of your entire online reputation will help reduce any unwelcomed surprises that may cost you a job interview. No matter how tightly you manage your profile, you can still get burned by a friend’s images or comments that you were tagged in. Rather than asking friends to individually un-tag or remove damaging content, you can disable the tagging features so you are not falsely tagged in images showing unethical or illegal behavior.
Some employers request new hires to login to their social media accounts during the interview process, so setting tight privacy controls for visitors may not have the desired effect. Some organizations request new employees to add a business/manager social media profile to their network so the company can monitor their account.
Social media is in constant change. How your data is used today may be different tomorrow. Even deleting your account may not remove undesirable content, so always be vigilant when it comes to your online presence.
Social Media Privacy
With some employers requesting full access to social media accounts, there is a movement to reduce the access to employee’s social media profiles, and the ACLU is one of the loudest champions. They argue that mandatory access to social media profiles is similar to a business asking to bug an employee’s residence.
Regardless of any future decisions regarding social media privacy in the workplace, you can mitigate any potential danger by tightly controlling your own profile. Always know what you’ve been tagged in and be aware of how third-party applications or plugins can access your profile. You don’t have to completely shut down your online presence, but it pays to keep a close eye on your social media reputation.