Social Networking Blog

Guy Clapperton on the evolving new media

The New Rules for social networking at work

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Image by luc legay via Flickr

So I’m presenting at a Twitter-themed event the other week, and someone asks me what the rules are in social networking and how they can control someone who’s posting crazy things about their own employer online. So I have a think about the new rules in this odd new environment…

1. If you’re sitting at your computer but on Twitter, it doesn’t count as if you’re at work. Otherwise you’d have to be a complete idiot to come out with half the stuff I read on people’s Tweets.

2. It’s OK, the fact that your contract of employment says you mustn’t bring the company into disrepute doesn’t count in Cyberspace. It must be true or else people wouldn’t come up with half the stuff (etc. as above).

3. Starting a Facebook site called [Nameofmyemployer]sucks is a fine idea and won’t get you into trouble.

4. If your employer doesn’t have his or her own blog or Twitter feed, use the company logo as your avatar. It’ll be fine.

5. If your premises are open to the public, start a Facebook group about when you get a celebrity come in through the door, particularly if it’s a regular thing. Whatever they say, they love it when unexpected photographers turn up really.

6. Some people will tell you the laws of libel apply in Cyberspace just like anywhere else. Some people are just killjoys.

7. If you’re working on an exciting development for your boss, go ahead and Tweet it, Facebook it and everything, months before the official unveling is due. They love the enthusiasm and never mind their PR schedule going to hell in a handbasket.

8. If you go for a job interview and get the job, always go on Twitter and say the entire panel had halitosis and you don’t want to work for their stinking company in the first place. They never go online and you won’t be sacked before you get there. Much.

9. If you’re going in front of the press, do some practice interviews. Video them for future reference, warts and all. Then sling them onto YouTube. [I know someone who does that with his media training sessions. And no, it’s not me!]

10. Cursebird.com, dedicated to seeing who’s swearing the most on Twitter, is a challenge to which everyone should devote their lunch break. Always mention the company name.

There, just ignore that lot and it’ll be a start.

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March 23, 2009 - Posted by | Social media howlers | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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