We have all heard the tales of woe from those employees who mistakenly violated their company’s social media policy only to end up on the unemployment line. This has created an air of concern among those of us who use social media on a regular basis, and even prompted some individuals to delete all their social media profiles, just in case.
Unfortunately, despite the warnings, and the emphasis on using caution when it comes to social media, some employees including high-level corporate executives continue to fall victim to often vaguely worded company social media policies.
If you own a business you should have a social media policy in place and be certain everyone who works for you knows exactly what is permitted and what is not. If you are an employee of a company and you are unsure of their social media policy, ask. Today. Right now. Don’t simply take the stance that you will “err on the side of caution.” Many company social media policies are not definitive guides but suggestions for appropriate behavior and leave the “definite violations” open to interpretation by human resources personnel or company executives.
Social media is an important part of social communication today. In all likelihood you rely on it for networking reason, both personal and professional. Thinking that you can just eliminate your network and continue to be as effective as you have always been is to misjudge the importance of social media. You need it and that’s Ok. But you also need your job, so make certain that you are staying within the guidelines of your corporate policy.
Gene Morphis keeps busy online. He has, it seems, more than 100 friends on Facebook, about 400 connections on LinkedIn and nearly 600 profile views on his personal Blogger site. But one of those sites may have gotten him fired.
Morphis was removed from his position as chief financial officer at Francesca’s, a growing apparel and accessories retailer that went public last year. The company said Monday that it terminated his employment after finding “that he improperly communicated Company information through social media.”
Francesca’s, which said it discovered the activity May 11, isn’t saying what information was allegedly shared, or through what form of social media. But the company is already on the hunt for Morphis’ replacement.