The US Representative Rick Larsen has apparently fired three of his staffers for chronicling their frustrations and whims on Twitter per many articles. Just Google it for more information.
The lesson from this episode for Twitterers who have a job and want to keep it is simple. Don’t wait for a social media policy to be written for you before you think about what is appropriate and not appropriate to share on Twitter. And the lesson for all the employers is also simple. Don’t under estimate the power of social media and the enthusiasm (or frustration) of your employees to share. While tools may be able to help monitor, they seldom can prevent such incidents from happening, while a clear policy and expectations to the employees have a better chance of prevention.
The Unwritten Twitter Etiquette That Can Keep Your Job
I thought of the following etiquette on Twitter to help employees become brand ambassadors of the company/organization they work for while achieving their desire to share.
Think before acting
Bring your employment (employer, your role, your industry) into perspective within your sharing practices as the resulting digital scars are permanent.
Ask for a social media policy
Know what you can share and what the expectations are before. If there is no policy, work with your HR representative to come up with a simple policy and become a hero in the view of your management.
Create your own social media policy
In case there is no official social media policy and you are unable to create one officially, create your own and share it widely within your team and organization. Such acts will create the awareness that you are familiar with the power of social media and soon you will be asked for inputs and potentially get opportunities to shape the policies in future.
Be the brand ambassador for your organization
Listen, monitor and respond according to the policy (official or your own)
Be the change agent within your organization
Use the social media to bring up issues that are relevant for your organization’s progress towards stated mission. You need to be subtle while doing this as the purpose is to raise awareness and get feedback rather than complain in public.