For all our videos go to: few years ago many of us hadn’t heard of social media, but now its become a part of our lives. We use it with friends and colleagues to share our highs and lows, our thoughts and feelings often without thinking about who can see it or what would happen if someone, perhaps outside your immediate circle, were to see your posts.
Much of the time this is what social media is about, but it can have implications for your work and professional career. Many people havent considered what the implications could be and this video aims to bring some of the issues to light.
The growth of social media has been incredible. At the time of writing 1 in 7 of the worlds population had accessed on one particular day. How we use social media is likely to change and become an even greater part of our lives, so thinking about a few basics now, will only help to lay the foundations for the future..
A passenger had boarded a plane and taken his seat, when he was told that, because of his size,he was a safety risk and would have
to take a different flight.Understandably, the passenger felt humiliated
especially as this had happened after he’dboarded the plane and in front of the other
passengers. He took a picture of himself seated on the
plane and posted it on twitter so that hisone and a half million followers could see
what was happening to him. The airline apologised, but suffered considerable
reputational damage as the incident capturedthe public’s imagination, the tweets went
viral, and it ended up being reported in the press. Social media has changed the way we communicate
and send messages to each other and this canhave implications for our professional lives
– so this is social media and work, by. What You Need To Know. Before social media when someone thought they’d
received poor customer service, they told,on average about 10 people. Nowadays they are also likely to use the different
social media platforms, to post images, videosand comments about how they’ve been treated
to hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions.
These can be extremely damaging to the organisations
and individuals concerned, and the peoplewho make these posts can be held accountable
if they make defamatory commentsor what are called malicious falsehoods.Many people think of social media as something
personal and nothing to do with work. But let’s look at two cases which ended up in
employment tribunals. An employee was dismissed for posting detrimental
comments about his employer and damaging the firm’s reputation. The employee claimed
that he’d been unfairly dismissed, and hehad freedom of expression rights. The tribunal
found that the employee had agreed to thefirm’s social media policy which explicitly
dealt with this type of post, and had thereforebroken his agreement, and also that the comments
he made were not the type that are particularlyimportant to free expression. The employee
lost his case and his job. Another example involves the manageress of
a pub who, after receiving verbal abuse fromsome of her customers, posted derogatory comments
about them online.
At the disciplinary hearing, the manageress
said that she knew this was against the company’ssocial media policy, but felt this was acceptable
as she’d set her privacy settings so thatonly 40 50 of her friends would see the post.Well, it turned out that they were availableto many more people and, as the issue had
been reported by a customer, it was consideredthat the posts weren’t private and she lost
her case, and job. Although it’s a good idea to check privacy
settings, once something’s on the internet,it can be hard to control. Screenshots can
be taken, and so called friends can shareor repost your comments to a much wider audience. Some companies are using social media to vet
new job applicants. In a survey, 63% of companiessaid they review candidates’ social media
footprints as part of the recruitment process. In another survey 58% of applicants said they
would be angry, very angry or outraged ifan employer refused them a job on the basis
of social media research. There are all sorts of potential problems
with this practice, especially around equalityand diversity legislation, but one suggestion
to make things a little better is that ifemployers do vet their candidates in this
way, that they let them know that they do this,and give candidates the chance to change
their privacy settings, and clean up theirpages if they want to.
Another tricky area is the ownership of contacts,
usernames and followers.Look at this example. Steve was asked by his employer to build up
a network of influential contacts on a socialmedia platform as part of his job. Sometime
later, Steve left the firm and got a job witha competitor. So who owns these contacts now?
They’re Steve’s contacts and they’rein his name, but he was paid by his old firm
to get them. Should his new employer be ableto use these contacts? There’s no clear
answer to this except that if possible, it’sbest to think ahead and agree what will happen in this sort of situation. There are numerous cases where the reputation
of an organisation, and the people who workthere, have been severely damaged through
online posts, and many of these may have been justified. However, we all have bad days and
do things we later regret.
So here are somethings you can do to help protect yourself.Be aware that your customers use social media
and could let their feelings be known aboutthe treatment they’ve received with comments,
images and videos to back up their stories. Find out about your social media policy at
work. Your organisation may not have one yet,but they’re becoming more common as they
let everyone know what’s acceptable,and what’s not. And perhaps, just as with email, before you
send or post anything which might be offensive,take a moment and consider whether you’d
be comfortable if it was held it up in frontof you and your colleagues?With the growth of social media we’ve become
used to exposing all sorts of informationabout ourselves, and others, to the rest of
the world, often without thinking. The lines between personal and professional
communications are sometimes blurred andsocial media can find its way into the work or public domain. And once it’s there…you can’t always get it back. .