Social Media policies are becoming commonplace with businesses today. Companies want to make sure their employees understand what online behaviors will not be tolerated of their charges. For many of us, these “tolerated” behaviors seem obvious, but we all know that one guy or girl who likes to share a little too much.
I think it’s important to try to post to your audience. So if Facebook is my personal space, I will post personal (but not too personal) updates, photos, etc. LinkedIn is my business network everything I post here is business-related. Twitter is my grey area, I post both work and personal updates and photos here and my connections vary from my mother to Anderson Cooper. Not that I think Anderson Cooper reads my updates, but if he ever did …
I charge you with creating your own social media policy. Figure out how you want to interact on these sites and with whom. Creating your own social media policy means understanding and implementing your social contracts within these sites. Your social contract will dictate who you connect with, how you interact with your connections and your behavior on that site. I’ve always had certain rules that I’ve stuck to with my social media sites. These are mine, yours may be very different and only you can determine what your social contracts should be for these sites.
I like to keep the social in Facebook … I post personal updates and photos here. I might post a tiny bit of business here, but it’s very minimal. I maintain a Facebook Page for my company that contains all of my necessary work updates. Typically with Facebook, if we’re not friends in real life, then I’m not accepting your friend request. There are always exceptions to this rule of course. If we don’t know each other, but you write a little note with your request, I usually accept. I’m a sucker for the little note.
I have my Facebook account pretty locked down, so I am comfortable with adding fringe friends. Plus, I am very comfortable breaking up with Facebook friends as needed.
I share a little bit of everything on Twitter. For my family and friends that care, it’s the blow-by-blow of my day. For my agents, it’s a nice way to figure out where I am on any particular day if they are looking for a one-on-one. I have a Twitter account for my company that is all business, but my @sahahn is a mix of professional and personal.
I block any porn, SEO experts, those trying to save me and otherwise creepy individuals right away. I will only follow people on Twitter that have entered a bio. That said, if their bio doesn’t appeal to me on some level, I won’t follow. The exception to this is of course, if I already know you and love you — consider yourself in. Lately, I’ve been branching out. I am following more people with different interests these days and getting more out of my tweet stream as a result.
If you are a colleague, classmate, or already a friend, I will connect. I typically don’t accept connections from people that I don’t already know on LinkedIn. Sometimes a friend of a friend would sneak in there or a new agent that I have not yet met (but would eventually). Consider your connections carefully on LinkedIn. If LinkedIn is your Web 2.0 resume, make sure your connections reflect the image that you are trying to project. Focus on connecting with your sphere of influence, your favorite vendors and of course – past clients.
My rules should not be your rules, but I hope that they can at least guide you with setting up your own social contracts. Consider what you will be sharing on these sites before making a friend, follower or connection with someone you don’t know.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Willow Grove, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.