Speaking out publicly on sensitive issues can have a big impact on your network, both personally and professionally.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it is essential to know how to share it well. Even more so nowadays, our actions on social media are becoming public and therefore, visible to all.
In this regard, the BBC recently experienced a situation that demonstrates the importance of being vigilant when sharing your opinion. In this case, British television presenter Gary Lineker was suspended after commenting on a bill introduced by the Conservative party. Of course, the word "impartiality" is on everyone's lips.
As an employer, you have a responsibility to provide a guide to best practices for all your employees to adopt online, even outside of business hours. Knowing how to communicate on your digital platforms becomes essential.
Spoken words fly away, written words remain — Senator Caius Titus
2000 years before the arrival of the Internet and LinkedIn, Titus understood that it is better to hold back a little before writing a word that could come back to haunt us. Despite the precautions that some people take by indicating in their biography, on Twitter for example, that their opinions belong to them, it remains tricky to express oneself on social debates.
To avoid these situations, consider implementing a netiquette within your company. This policy outlines the employee's responsibility and recommends appropriate use of digital platforms. Here are some elements to include in a policy:
- Emphasize the ongoing nature of digital platforms
- Leave room for employees to use their own judgment, but emphasize that if in doubt, they can consult with resources or administration
- Emphasize the responsibility that follows the act of identifying oneself as an employee of the organization on social networks, such as LinkedIn or Facebook. This means carrying the company's image in all our online actions
On this last point, always remember that, even after 5:00 p.m., on weekends or on vacation, you are still a representative of the company that employs you in the eyes of your audience.
Depending on your sector, this can obviously be amended at any time to better suit your area of expertise.
Respect: a must for all
It is important to know your limits, otherwise your comments may be deleted by the company concerned.
For example, disgraceful comments with sexual or religious connotations or related to the sexual orientation of individuals will never be tolerated. As the British presenter mentioned above demonstrated, it is best to refrain from commenting on political decisions.
Ambassadors: bearers of good news
What if we talked about the positive users? The ones who spread the word about everyone's successes, who show their enthusiasm for sharing good news. Why not be inspired by them?
Let's face it, the successes of companies are often linked to the success of the team within. This is a great way to thank your team and encourage the sharing of inspiring news.
In closing, keep in mind that not everything we think about should end up on social media. Be a positive ambassador to those around you. And if you ever get the sudden urge to speak out on a controversial topic, remember that those comments can be held against you, within minutes of your post and maybe even years from now.
So the question arises, what kind of user are you?