In a previous article, I outlined the troubles companies have with employees who share their personal lives on social media. Each day brings new stories about social media faux pas, creating scandals for individuals and companies alike. According to a 2012 survey by PayScale, a salary and benefits information company, only half of the companies surveyed had a social media policy and 42% said they forbid all forms of social media activity at work. Contrast that with these statistics—2 out of 5 Generation Y workers rate access to social media above receiving a higher salary and over 50% of workers 55 and older use social media at work every day. You can see storm clouds gathering on the horizon.
The purpose of social media is to share thoughts, activities and promote things we find interesting. Businesses like social media because feedback is almost instantaneous. Hit “Post” and within seconds you can see Facebook “Likes” pouring in or “re-tweets” going out. These social barometers tell you how good your message is and provide insight into what your audience thinks—invaluable from a marketer’s perspective. The question is where to draw the line between personal and professional sharing.