Social Media & Work

September 5, 2022 News

By Daniel Ferguson, SDA Digital Organiser.

Social media is a part of life for most people. 37% of all people on earth use Facebook daily. There were 10.45 million Australian Instagram users in July and short form video platform TikTok has experienced explosive growth and was the most downloaded app in 2021 with over a billion videos consumed by users every day.

Whatever platform you use to connect with people, you need to be cautious when it comes to mixing social media and work.

While adding your colleagues on social media can be a great way to improve relationships and get to know people – it also means that everything on your feed is on show, including anything you might say about work. You should be prepared that some of this content may be seen by others in your workplace, including your manager.

It’s not an uncommon story from popular social media personalities who have been given a warning, or even fired over their social media presence. It’s especially dangerous if you’re telling stories about your workplace, or other users can identify where you work e.g., you make a post when you’re wearing your uniform.

If your workplace is identifiable, users may believe you are speaking as a representative of the company, and if you defame the company, staff or customers – you could get in hot water.

Our recommendations:

  • Don’t list your workplace in your profile;
  • Keep your profile on private if possible;
  • If you’re connected to your colleagues, don’t post anything about work;
  • Don’t wear your uniform, badge or any other identifiers in pictures or video;
  • Don’t say anything defamatory about your workplace, colleagues, clients or customers.

This list is not definitive, and some workplaces have an even stricter social media policy. I suggest you familiarise yourself with any policy, and if you have any questions, contact the SDA for clarification.

Your workplace may also encourage you to join chats or groups online as a management and communication tool for work. While it is up to you if you choose to join them, it’s important to note they are not compulsory and your workplace must find another way to communicate with you if necessary.