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5 tips on social media and working people

Brian’s provided advice about social media and the workplace for an article in the Brighton and Hove Independent. Here’s the article, so you don’t have to squint at the image.

Companies use social media to promote products and communicate with customers. But there are risks and rewards, from finding candidates for jobs to dealing with problems if their employees make controversial comments that drag your company into a Twitterstorm.

Here are 5 tips about social media and the workplace:

1 Who posts for you and sometimes about your company? Do they know what they can and cannot say, as well as the right tone and content to use? Make sure your employees clearly understand what’s appropriate for using social media sites and, if any trolls make critical posts, what they should do. Spending a little time working to avoid problems is better than fire-fighting.

2 When and where: are you spending too much time on Facebook because you understand it and not exploring other sites? Check where your customers, competitors and potential new employees are and use those social media sites too. One tweet at lunchtime might reach more people than regular status updates on Facebook.

3 Recruiting? Tell everyone through your social media accounts and think about encouraging your employees and contacts to help you spread the word too. That way thousands of people might discover you’re hiring, rather than just a few dozen – and especially if you use the next tip too.

4 Use hashtags when you’re hiring. If you don’t only a section of your followers will see what you post and you want news of your vacancies to reach as many people as possible. If in doubt, check out other firms’ posts to see how they promote their job searches on each social media site.

5 Private or not? Employees: it’s not “private” if your account’s public or you name your employer in the bio. If you really want to post about work on social media then make your accounts private, take out any references to where you work and unfriend your work colleagues. The overwhelming majority of complaints about comments on social media happen when you’ve forgotten that your colleagues and maybe your manager can see what you’re saying. But if you really have to say “I hate my job” without it backfiring, say it to your friends and not on social media.