Social Media Etiquette for Managers

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Social Media Etiquette for Managers | Article by Recruiter, Ginny Morgan, with Trinity Employment Specialists – a Tulsa staffing company

It seems like everyone is on social media these days. More and more people are spending time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Pintrest. According to a www.cnbc.com article published online in December 2012, Americans spent 121 billion minutes on social media sites in one month in 2012.  These sites that so many of us spend exorbitant amounts of time on are designed for us to interact with our family, friends and coworkers in different ways.  But, there certainly is a manager’s code-of-conduct when it comes to social media.

If allowed access to social media sites at work, managers should limit their time. It is easy to let the clock tick by without realizing it, but it is a manager’s duty to keep tabs on the time and use it wisely. It is also a supervisor’s responsibility to set a good example. A great way to help manage time is by using management sites. Tools such as www.hootsuite.com manage multiple social media accounts and can event help pre-schedule postings. This is a good way to avoid multiple postings to sites that just wastes precious work time during the day.

Schools around the nation are putting policies in to effect that ban teachers and students from being ‘friends’ on Facebook, including the Trenton school district in Trenton, New Jersey in 2012. Many businesses are also implementing social media policies, such as Best Buy, Oracle and Wal-Mart. I have not seen any policies in place that ban managers from being connecting with their boss or their employees on social media. However, this is just good common sense due to the fact that many people post things about their personal life outside work as well as their political and religious preferences. If a manager likes to have their personal lives remain private, friending coworkers and especially employees is not the way to go.

Watch those posts is my best advice for managers. Recently, a coworker stated a friend posted on Facebook ‘Playing hooky from work today!”. What was this person thinking? There have also been numerous stories about employees that go on tirades regarding their boss, coworkers or place of business via Twitter or Facebook. Posting inappropriate photos is among one of the top reasons for reprimand due to social media and has actually gotten employees fired from their jobs.  Friends or family members may love to see the scantily clad drinking vacation photos, but this is really not an image subordinates should ever see of a boss. Managers need to convey an attitude of authority and expertise and social media posts about work, coworkers or even questionable photos are not the way to maintain this respect.

There is no doubt that social media platforms can help get the word out about companies, build a brand, educate consumers and engage customers. They get business people connected and linked together to network. They also help friends and family stay in touch and share information about their personal lives. Managers need to remember no matter how wonderful social media maybe for business and personal use it can create a bad image if not utilized properly. If common sense and etiquette are used social media sites can be an invaluable tool. But, remember to whom much is given much is required.