You know that little blurb you put on your twitter bio that says “in case I say something stupid on here, you can’t hold it against me because this is my personal twitter account and has no connection to my company, whom I’ve listed above and regularly mention”? Well, it doesn’t mean anything. Seriously, it means nothing. It might mean that you’ll be more surprised when you get fired, but when it comes down to it, it doesn’t mean anything.
Not everyone loses their job. Just ask local politicians. I’m not judging their actions. In fact, I believe that many people are wholly unprepared for what social media really means. There are a few issues with social media that you have to be aware of if you want to succeed in business, politics, or anything really. Here’s what you need to be aware of.
First, social media is actually a rather permanent thing. Sure, things come and go at a breakneck pace and the buzz may die down pretty quickly. But everything is still there. If people really want to dig up something they can. A prime example of this is the recent Sochi Olympics backlash. There have been a large number of people posting images from Sochi about how terrible everything is. The only issue is that much of what they are posting isn’t actually from Sochi. Some of it isn’t even from Russia (See Here). The point? If there’s something from back in the day, someone can find it. And use it.
It doesn’t matter that you attempt to distance yourself from your employer on your social networks, the fact is that what you say reflects on your employer and they will not stand for anything that looks bad on them. So what do you do? If you don’t want to connect with your employer via your social networks, don’t EVER mention who you work for on your social network. Don’t carry out ANY business online if you’re saying that it’s not related. Create specifically separate personal and professional identities. Finally, if you really want to mix things up, just make up a random identity… right, Roberto Luongo…I mean… @strombone1.