Comm Series: Social Media Booboos

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Social media is an important marketing tool in the 21st century. Prior to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, etc., people just called or emailed one another to share information. They shared photos by scanning them and sending through the mail, or mailing the prints through the post office.

In the past, the job of social media manager was non-existent. Now, companies are hiring social media managers savvy enough to know digital marketing and its rules. It’s because companies recognize that they can engage customers and expand market reach through it. Many micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) rely on it too. It’s pervasive, powerful, and free; therefore, it has its own set of rules. People are studying digital media extensively and redefining the communication landscape.

It is advisable for companies to have a social media policy (if they still haven’t) to guide and teach their employees to use social media responsibly.

On sharing information

1.TMI (too much information)

There is such a thing as “oversharing”. Nobody needs to know what you ate for lunch, or where you went for coffee after, or the sordid details of your break-up. Be careful too about sharing that you went on leave to get a facial. It might just cost you your job.

2. Compensation is confidential.

Do not post a picture of your signature and a memo which says technical adjustment. The other manager sitting next to you may not have gotten one.

3. Prioprietary information is confidential.

Sometimes people want to share and brag about a breakthrough product or service, not realizing that FB or Twitter may not be the venue for it.  Again, this might cost you your job.

4. Be careful about sharing personal information.

There are as many good people as bad people. Your personal information could fall into the wrong hands and you (and your loved ones) could get hurt.

On providing comments

1.  Think.

Think before you comment and not the other way around. Be quiet if you have nothing good to say.

2. Respect others.

You can never go wrong if you’re respectful, fair and value others’ point of view. Refrain from using obscene language. Is swearing acceptable? Virginia Shea’s Rules of Netiquette answers this so well:  “only in those areas where sewage is considered an art form”.

3. Use the emoticons.

Your messages may sometimes be misunderstood.  Use the emoticons because they’re free anyway.

4. Read before you like.

Read the message before you like them. It’s weird to like a post about someone dying or being diagnosed with cancer.

5. Never bash your boss or company online.

Never bite the hand that feeds you. If you really need to let off steam, send a private message to a trusted friend.

On sharing photos

1.No photos of wakes, please.

Seeing photos of wakes online is jarring, like a compilation of the book of the dead. If you want to do it for a group of family members, customize the privacy settings. Also, your  dear departed will probably appreciate it more if you remember them at their healthiest and not when they are lying in repose.

2. No photos of accidents, please.

What is even the point of showing photos of broken limbs or a crushed skull? There’s probably a better way to share your insights on safety.

3. Sharing photos of others.

Just because you have a photo of your boss or your friend and her baby does not give you the license to share it. Always ask permission. Some people value their privacy very much. There’s no harm in asking them first before posting their photos.




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