Like it or not, the fine line between your personal and work lives is getting thinner and thinner, thanks in large part to the growing power of social media in our lives. While social media is a valuable tool for professionals interested in growing their network (especially digital marketers), a small slip-up can cost them their job and potentially hamper their career.
According to CareerBuilder, 60% of employers use social media platforms to research potential job candidates. And more than 26% of employers have terminated employees due to distasteful content posted on their social media accounts.
Whether you think it’s fair or not, it’s safe to assume that current and prospective employers may take the route of social media marketing recruiters to review and evaluate your public social media accounts at any time. Employees and their activities–both online and off–represent the brand they work for. And marketers more than most are expected to know how to use and behave on social media. So it’s wise to proactively have your social media presence in order in case anyone comes looking.
As strategic marketing recruiters, we know there are serious precautions marketers should take when managing an active presence on social media while being a professional in the industry. Remember, anything you put out into the internet is available for everyone to see and open to be scrutinized.
Don’t let a small slip-up cripple the growth of your marketing career. There are simple measures to take to ensure that your social media presence is in good hands along with many things you should certainly avoid.
Here are common mistakes that could kill your marketing career and why you should avoid them:
Not Researching Yourself
It’s wise to periodically take some time to look yourself up and see what employers and strategic marketing recruiters may see associated with you on the internet.
You could potentially have a distasteful Facebook post or tweet from years ago that you have forgotten about. Or maybe one of your connections inadvertently posted something that could be compromising to your career potential Whether you’re actively looking for a new job opportunity or currently employed, it’s important to make sure that no distasteful content is lingering around.
Looking yourself up may sound a little ridiculous, but it’s an extra precautionary measure to take to ensure nothing could potentially hurt your marketing career.
If you’re ever in doubt and want to play it safe, consider putting your profiles on private to only allow your connections to have access to them. Also consider scheduling a periodic audit of your friends and connections on social media and clearing your network of anyone you’re not close with and don’t trust completely to handle what you share with respect and consideration.
Frequent Posting During Work Hours
This is another common mistake marketing professionals make on social media. Tweeting and sharing content on Facebook during the workday is a big way to “tell on yourself” – rather than being productive, you’re browsing on social media and making it very obvious. It’s one thing to drop the occasional Tweet or Instagram photo through the day, but frequent posting and sharing, especially of personal content, is not a good look.
Marketing recruitment agencies will tell you that this is a mistake that seems to fly over many marketers’ heads. If you think you can get away with it, don’t assume that your boss won’t catch you on social media when you shouldn’t be. They certainly can–and they’ll have the evidence to prove it.
Featuring Inappropriate Messages and Content
Sure, you may have had some wild times in your younger days and may have shared some of those pictures for memories. Fast forward a few years later, and you realize that wasn’t the best choice for your marketing career.
Failure to police your online activity from the past and the present is a huge mistake marketers make far too often. If you still have those images up on the web for everyone to see, there’s a chance, however small, that it could impact your career growth potential. Remember, if a social media marketing recruiter or employer can find it, then it means almost anyone can find it. Businesses don’t want to risk being associated with your inappropriate pictures and messages.
Be aware that once it gets posted on the Internet, it can stay there forever even if you’ve deleted it. Being cautious of this will ensure that you think twice about posting anything inappropriate for your professional career in the future. As much as possible, make sure your friends, family, and anyone else who might be around for many of your potentially controversial activities are good stewards of your image and act responsibly with your likeness.
Bashing Current or Former Employers
This is an obvious blunder but, one far too many–professionals (marketers included) are guilty of. You don’t have to like your employers, but social media is a poor place to share your grievances.
For example, take the recent college grad that bad-mouthed how she hated her newly offered job from tech company Cisco on Twitter. Unsurprisingly, the offer was revoked and a lesson was learned – don’t talk down on a company that offers you a new position, especially on social.
Publicly shaming customers, co-workers, or management is also a huge mistake. As an employee of a company, complaining about your role in any type of way is an easy way to lose your job and tarnish your reputation as a professional.