Social media in the workplace: business vs. personal?

We all know the importance of social media in the workplace on a business level, but where does social media fit in on a personal level? Transferring between these two perspectives transforms social media from a catalyst for organizational potential to one of disaster.

Individuals are uninformed on the level of negative impacts that can result from social media; they are unaware of who can see it, who it will effect and the possible consequences.


To combat this it is important that all employers have in place not only email and internet policies but a specific social media policy that deals with acceptable and unacceptable conduct and consequences for breaching this (Greig, 2014).

Unfortunately I have experienced this firsthand. One day at work a balloon animal man made us a rather *cough cough* inappropriate object. My friend and I posed for a “funny” photo with the balloon in our uniforms in the storeroom. This was posted online and within 5 minutes we received a message being told to remove it immediately. How did I not realise the lack of professionalism and immense stupidity of this action? I was unaware and rationally blurred by the “humour”.

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I believe social media policies are not communicated well enough to employees in the workplace. An unclear social media policy can lead to decreased productivity, negative impacts to the brands reputation, defamation, harassment or inappropriate conduct (Australian Business, 2014).

We’ve all been warned that once something is on the Internet it can never be fully removed – so controlling social media use within the workplace must be handled more seriously, well defined, communicated fully and reiterated clearly.

Check out these 10 must haves for a social media policy and the image below on the components of an effective social media policy:

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 11.26.18 am


Austraian Business. (2014). Why do you need a social media policy? Australian Business.
Greig, C. (2014). Social Media Policies in the Workplace. Colement Greig Lawyers.
Mashable. (2009). Social media policy musts. Mashable.

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