Unsurprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast answer, although I was interested by suggestions that it is important to keep work and personal profiles separate, in case professional contacts came across riskier tweets intended for friends and didn’t like what they read.
I’ve come across this presentation from Nielsen called The Social Media Report today. Although it is focused on the growth of social media use in the US, it contains some interesting snippets for people who are getting to grips with it in the UK. One message comes through: if you’re not using social media, you’re missing out.
I’ve just come across this research, courtesy of Mindflash, which looks at the things companies are finding out about their staff and prospective hires from the information placed on publicly available social media platforms.
There are a few warnings for prospective job hunters, who may be busy deleting damning photographs from their Facebook profiles if they have read the blog.
But there are some positives too which demonstrate how social media can boost people’s professional profile if used with a bit of common sense.
I’ve no doubt that the idea of employers trawling online personal profiles would be chilling for quite a few people.
Facebook, which is more of a network of friends than work associates, is different to professionally focused tools like LinkedIn – although both can be made private so that those who don’t know you can’t see what you are saying. For many users, Twitter tends to sit between these two platforms in the social v professional spectrum and is a much more public tool, as Joey Barton has found out recently.
Yesterday’s news of two men being sent to jail for four years for ‘inciting riots’ on Facebook is proof of how the misuse of social media can come back to bite people, in this case pretty swiftly.
Click on the graphic to the right if you want to expand it for more detail on the Mindflash research.