Here’s one for the adults, and the teens out there who are already in the workforce or are about to be soon.
Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’re going to have a job at some point. If you assume that your company can make rules that prevent you from flaming the company on public social media, as of this month you’re wrong.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that restaurant chain Chipotle broke the law by imposing an employee social media policy that bans “posting incomplete, confidential, or inaccurate information and making disparaging, false, or misleading statements”. It’s a doozy. Part of it feels very wrong to us.
We think companies should be able to have a policy that bans employee posts in a few categories:
- Confidential information
- Disparaging comments about the company
- False or misleading statements about the company
Everyone who works for the company is a brand ambassador. Posting negative or disparaging comments about the company that pays your bills is not a good idea under almost any circumstances. Knowingly posting confidential company information could be illegal.
In the real world, we’re going to assume that just because a company may no longer state in an employee manual that some posts are off limits, nothing will change. If you’re a bad employee, the company is going to find a way to get rid of you. Being a bad representative of the company in a public forum will quickly – and perhaps permanently – put you in this category.
Why not put that online effort into being a good employee instead? At some point, we expect that most companies will give some sort of training around employee social media, but that day isn’t here yet. We suggest that you train yourself, or at least be very thoughtful when your work life makes an appearance in your personal social media.
Be a great representative of your company and brand – As the saying goes, if you can’t say something nice… You don’t need to post every day, but when you do post about work, find something constructive to say.
What’s important to your company right now? Is there a recruiting drive going on? A new product or promotion in the market? Lending your voice to those efforts is a real positive, and should improve your reputation in the company.
Hashtags – Your company’s digital marketing staff is probably using hashtags to increase the relevance of and audience for their social media posts. You can get on message by doing the same.
Images are important – Having a great day at work? A fun or interesting image goes a long way to telling that story.
Re-share company content – If your company’s Twitter account shares something good, feel free to re-share it with your personal network. If they publish an interesting article on the company website, share it with your LinkedIn connections.
In summary, don’t bad mouth your company on social media. It’s not worth it even if it isn’t illegal. Do the opposite and be a great employee and brand ambassador.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.
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