LiveCareer Blog

To Follow or Not to Follow: Mixing Social Media and Work

Should you befriend your boss and coworkers on social media? The answer really depends on you.

Ten years ago when social media first appeared on the scene, Facebook and the workplace just didn’t mix. Befriending and following your coworkers (or heaven forbid, your boss) was something you just didn’t do.

But times have changed. Social media isn’t just a normal part of workplace relationships. Sometimes it is even considered part of company culture. Internal Facebook pages are commonplace within companies or teams. Employers often use social media to screen candidates. These days, a friend request from, or to, a boss isn’t uncommon at all.

But are you ready to blur the lines between your personal life and your work life? On the fence about accepting that friend request from a coworker you’re just not sure about? Well, here are a few pro tips to help you with social media in the workplace.

 

  1. If you want to keep your coworker relationships professional, keep it on a professional site. Go ahead – send and accept those invitations on LinkedIn!
  2. Use your privacy options! Facebook has a slew of privacy options that you can use to your advantage. Get familiar with the privacy options on all your favorite social media sites. Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat will all have their own settings. Then, it will be easier to control who sees what.
  3. Find your own communication style. If you are expanding your social network to include your professional network, define your own “best practices.” Know what types of posts and comments you’re comfortable displaying to your professional connections.
  4. Think before you post! This is good advice across the board. Facebook is one thing – but if you have colleagues following you on Instagram or SnapChat, be sure not to post anything you might not want them to see – and to be talking about the next day at work!
  5. Don’t really want to accept that friend request from a certain colleague?  Be honest with them and let them know that you keep Facebook for personal networks only. Add them on LinkedIn if it helps the situation!
  6. Connecting with your co-workers on social media isn’t bad thing. And doing so doesn’t have to jeopardize your job. In fact, building bonds outside of work situations can be a really good thing and can lead to great networking opportunities down the line.

 

For more on how to manage the social aspects of your career online and in real life, check out the guidelines and tips on LiveCareer.