The rise in popularity of social media (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) within the workplace has created a new set of “rules of engagement” for how to conduct oneself in a professional manner. Specifically, how to present yourself professionally using digital tools.
Avoiding common mistakes is vital to building trust and useful connections within the social media platform. For example:
1. Emails – be crystal clear when writing an email and be sure not to criticize of deliver bad news in such an impersonal manner. Pick up the phone or meet face-to-face, it makes a better impression. Don’t copy others unless they really need to read it. And more importantly, be sure to respond in a timely manner, let’s say 24 hours.
2. Mobile Devices – turn your smartphone off during meetings and stow the phone out of sight during meetings. Constantly checking and texting tells others you are focused somewhere else and not on the meeting or presentation. It is also very distracting to others in the meeting, too.
3. Video Conference or Skype – be sure to test all connections and know your technology prior to scheduling a conference call or Skype conversation. A practice run allows you to troubleshoot issues without wasting others’ time. Remember to be considerate of the other person when scheduling an international call, keep their local time in mind.
4. Twitter – it’s a good idea to listen and learn about people you are following and how tweets are used in your business setting. You can become a valued Twitter contributor when you add value to a conversation. Tweet out information your followers can use, not irrelevant facts. This is your chance to become an “online expert”.
Social media and technology have changed the way we communicate and in the workplace, you can eliminate controversy by learning from your own missteps. Best advice is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and consider how you are being viewed based on your email response, phone or Skype call, or mobile phone use.