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Swati Rai
5 Aug 2015 . 3 min read

Using technology and social media responsibly at work


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There is no escaping social media anywhere now. Yes, that includes the workplace too. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc keep you and your friends updated on what everyone's doing, thinking and feeling!

What helps is the fact that the internet is in our pocket, literally, with easy availability on phones and access to free Wi-Fi at work. According to a report published by IAMAI & KPMG, India On The Go – Mobile Internet Vision Report 2017, India is projected to have 236 million mobile Internet users by 2016; the number will rise to 314 million by 2017. Overall, 500 million Indians will be on the Internet 2017. As of June 2015, Internet users in India stood at over 350 million. Great! But think before you spend time doodling your thoughts to be shared with the whole wide world. Someone’s watching you! Your virtual imprint is not for only you to see; most companies are new investing in background checks that include social media postings of the unsavoury variety.

Follow these tips to negotiate the tricky, inevitable intertwining path of work and virtual social media!

Security first!

So you have Firewalled your computer? No, not enough. Security and privacy of content shared on social media has to be strict to avoid using ‘public’ settings ruining it for you. It could be a security issue: For instance, from 'away for an official meeting' to 'what you felt right after the boss flung a file at you', you don’t want it going viral!

Private versus Professional

Yes, there is a growing number of social media influencers. But remember, that is their job. You want to do it? Make the switch! Many sensitive job profiles, especially that concern national security, require you to not share details of where you are and what you are up to. Apart from that, what you share on social media is also a reflection of your personality and can be used by head hunters, poachers and recruiters. So sites such as LinkedIn have useful resources and the possibility of a great professional connect, but keep the others for personal consumption and operation.

Netiquette

Following netiquette, being polite, avoiding offensive altercations and--some experts say--taking extreme positions on sensitive issues involving religion, gender and personal choices, is a no-no in the social media world. Using appropriate, timely and complete communication--i.e. avoiding SMS lingo, offensive vocabulary and vague responses--will help! Sure, constructive criticism, healthy arguments substantiated by research or facts are welcome, but following the rules of net communication is also a must!

Social media ambassador

If your work involves social media marketing, or engaging the community as a brand representative on social networking sites, then keep in mind that you keep your personal profile separate from the professional one. Double check what you are about to post, a faux pas can cost you clients. Post as a brand, not as an individual. Be virtually active and examine trends online to contribute responsibly. Be consistent, correct and avoid getting into a confrontation with respondents. Know that there will be trolls, complainants and social media deviants who are out to unleash their anger against the brand for some reason or other. Handling them appropriately and guiding them to the appropriate grievance redressal platform of the company to register a valid complaint or grudge is the right way to go about it. Remember, social media is an effective tool to build brands but can equally spoil them if not negotiated correctly.


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Swati Rai
Swati Swati Rai is a freelance corporate, English language and Soft Skills trainer with over 15 years of on field experience. She writes on her experiences as a Flexi'mom' and a careerist. Her writing canvas includes lifestyle, career tips and trends, cinema, technology and society! A regular contributor with national dailies, she is currently working on a book that is an amalgamation of career trends, tips and life mantras! She can be caught on @RaiSwatiRai on twitter

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