What are people’s perceptions of co-workers using social media at work? I’ve always felt uncomfortable about it because it has never been part of my formal job description and I haven’t needed to use it to maintain business relationships. It’s not social media for personal use that worries me. I think about the perceptions of others if I use social media for business industry content during business hours.
Is my thinking and worry about perceptions outdated?
Part of my job responsibility is to stay current on technology trends and advances. But if I do this during standard business work hours and then share or comment on the information do others think I’m not doing my job? After all, I have operational responsibilities during the day and my research can take place at night. Right?
Or maybe all this worry about perception is outdated and social media participation is now accepted? Perhaps. I think it helps to see the media, entertainment, and news industries using social media to communicate with customers. In many cases these companies use the personalities of individual employees to increase the reach of their business.
It’s complicated.
As I think about it, there is no set answer for this. Perception of others is something I can’t control. Perceptions are influenced by the environment, culture, and job position of the person involved. The truth is that the role of an employee and their title play a part in the perceptions. Truth is also that people already have perceptions of other employees outside of social media.
Managing perceptions may be the best course of action. Of course one way to do this is to not use social media at all during the business day. For me that actually fits the case most days. But as I strive to stay current and to be active in my professional trade it becomes more difficult.
Use common sense and play it smart.
But there are things I can control. I can control how I perform at my primary job responsibilities. I can control use of the social media and the content I contribute. All of this helps to manage expectations.
At the end of the day I’m rated at work by how I fulfill my primary job responsibilities. That means increasing revenue, reducing costs, and creating an environment where employees can be successful. How can I use social media to help accomplish all those goals? That’s the bigger challenge.
Control what I can control – change perceptions by creating content wisely