Research shows the average person spends roughly 2.5 hours on social media each day. With smartphones always near, social media has become an easy way to share and connect with others. But should content creators and influencers post about their jobs?
It all depends.
Some companies encourage employees to share positive content. A post that showcases a new product, a partnership, or an employee event can build brand awareness and benefit the company. Some brands even have hand-picked employee influencers to purposefully share uplifting brand content.
But not every company encourages social media use. Many have strict social media policies in place, and failure to follow these rules can cause big problems.
For instance, Arina Bloom, a beauty and travel influencer on TikTok with 265K followers, was recently fired from United Airlines for sharing work-related videos. While wearing her uniform, she posted about 20 videos to TikTok. Some were DITL (day in the life) videos, while others reportedly criticized the company, including lackluster cleaning efforts between flights.
And Bloom isn’t alone. Rachel Burns lost her job at a senior care facility for posting a picture of an on-site karaoke night, a sales associate for The Financial Diet was fired when she shared a snap of a new-client party, and Tony Piloseno, a college student working at Sherwin-Williams, was let go for sharing TikToks of paint being mixed.
All of these employees were let go for violating company guidelines.
7 tips for content creators and influencers at work
So, how do you know whether you should post about work? Use these tips to make informed choices:
Know the company’s social media policies
Most companies have social media guidelines to help employees understand what can and can’t be shared. Most guidelines include a code of conduct that explains what posts are appropriate in and out of work, behavioral expectations for employee events and shared content, and rules for work-related posts, including the use of company names, tags, and hashtags.
If the company has employee influencers, there’s likely a separate guidebook for that role, too.
Before you post anything, know the rules.
Be aware of social media privacy laws
Seventeen states have enacted social media privacy laws. While every state is different, the legislation has several recurring themes. For instance, companies can not:
- Request your login credentials to look at your social media account.
- Retaliate if an employee refuses to provide access to his or her account.
- Ask a coworker to help them access your social accounts.
Social media privacy is a gray area. While the accounts are personal, the content shared is often public. While it’s important to know about your state’s laws, the social media guidelines set by the company are more specific to your situation.
Social media is full of complaints. From poor restaurant reviews to rants about subpar customer service, there’s no shortage of negative feedback on social.
However, as a guideline, social media isn’t the place to complain about your job, your supervisor, or your colleagues. If you have issues with your workload or find yourself clashing with a coworker, talk about it in private with the appropriate supervisor rather than sharing on social media.
Use personal devices for social media use
Most companies monitor employees’ social accounts, usually spelled out in the guidelines. Since employers are watching your social moves, don’t use your work laptop or phone for social purposes. Use your personal device instead.
If using social media is part of your job, log into your work accounts, not your personal ones.
Separate accounts are best
If you are encouraged to use social media at work, consider one account for personal use and another for work use. For instance, a TV reporter might have two different Facebook accounts, one that’s a personal page under his or her name, and one that’s for work that includes the station’s call letters along with their name. An employee influencer can do something similar.
You could also keep all work-related content on LinkedIn, which tends to be a more professional site.
Adjust privacy settings
Most social media channels have adjustable privacy settings. To help safeguard your content, consider making your page “private.” Be mindful of who you grant access to, though, especially coworkers.
Facebook lets you pre-approve photos you’re tagged in, LinkedIn can keep people from seeing your connections, and Twitter lets you pick who can and can’t mention you in snaps.
Review the privacy settings on the channels you use and turn them on.
If you aren’t sure if you should post something, don’t
If you are hesitant to post a work-related photo, review, or video, it’s always better to be cautious. If you’re in doubt, ask your supervisor before posting the content or review the company guidelines.
Each day social media becomes more ingrained in our daily routine, so posting work-related content will likely remain a hot topic. Before influencers and content creators post anything about their day jobs on social media, it’s important to know the company’s policies. If you have questions, ask before you post.
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