Judge Given the Gavel on Social Networking

I was browsing through my Google Reader RSS feeds, and came upon this gem today: Staten Island Judge Booted For Facebook Oversharing.  I understand that people love updating their social networking sites and constantly letting people know where they are, but “his once-public Facebook profile ‘included photographs of his children and, at times, blow-by-blow details of his location and schedule,’ sources told the Staten Island Advance.”  Not even in the peak of my Facebook career did I feel the need to let everyone know where I was going.

Develop a Social Media Policy for Your Company

What can we take out of this example?  Be very careful and complete when you make a policy regarding social networking websites.  For example, I have a personal Twitter name that I like to keep disconnected from my company username (@wsgandrew) in case I just want to post some goofy things to friends.  My Facebook page is not open to the public, and as far as I know, I’m not even able to be seen in search results.  It’s not necessarily about the things I put on there (though that’s very important too), but about the things that other people could put onto my profile (wall messages, bumper stickers, graffiti, etc.)

Personal Profiles vs. Professional Profiles

As I said earlier, I have a personal Twitter account and a professional Twitter account.  I post updates relating to work and social networking from my professional account, and never really let my opinion out on off topic items.  Granted, since this is the age where any piece of information can be found out, my personal Twitter name is easy to find.  I am Twitter friends with people from work on both my personal and professional name.  It’s a very slippery slope, trying to decide where exactly the line is.

For companies looking to implement a social media program that their employees would outreach into the digital world, there should be some limits that are put into place.  Some of these items are obvious, like no pictures from parties or nights out that aren’t work-related gatherings.  Again, all of these criteria are malleable based on your (or the owner’s) preference.

Be aware of what your employees post, but also be aware that without the power of these free social networking tools, you would have to spend thousands of dollars to get your message heard.  And a few minutes on Facebook or Twitter per day is a lot less of a financial burden than large-scale advertising.  Protect your personal pages, and realize that as long as it’s been out on the internet, it’s possible to access.

Speaking of Twitter:

  • @wsgnet – The official Twitter account of WSG.net (Updated by Justin)
  • @wsgandrew – My WSG Twitter account.