Monday, 9 November 2015

A Guide to Social Media Etiquette

I'm at that age now where I have become very conscious about what I put on social media. In my early to mid teens I had just discovered the wonders of myspace and facebook and (as timehop loves to remind me) and put it this way.. I wasn't always as cautious as I am now. Social media is not just a casual social activity, but a reflection of yourself. Don't think for one second that when you apply for a job that they won't check out your social platforms, as to an employer nothing will give them a truer insight to your persona. So to help you all out I have compiled a little Do's and Don'ts article, or a guide to social media etiquette shall we say..

Everyday I see tweets, Facebook status's, bios and photos on social media from people of my own age (going on 20) who are still using the internet as I did oh so many moons ago. Social media profiles are very important as you are transitioning into adulthood and the world of work. I know this is said a lot, but employers really do look at potential employee's social media accounts. Everything you put on the internet is out there for employers to judge your work potential on. Family members can also see everything you post, and so can people who you have just met. You don't want to make a bad impression.

Without further ado, here are my top do's and dont's when it comes to social media..


Have a nice profile picture. Your profile picture is the first thing that anyone will notice when they click onto your facebook profile. This is essentially, the first impression you will give. That doesn't mean can't have a picture of you your friends on a night out or you having fun abseiling if that's what you're into, let your personality show. There are just a few things that I would avoid..
  1. Drunken Photos - A photo taken by the club photographer (reasonably early on in the night) is fine. This shows that you like to enjoy yourself and have a good time with friends. But a photo of you hand standing whilst drinking from a straw or being carried home by an only marginally more sober friend - not great.
  2. Shameless Selfies - Selfies aren't bad. Just try and avoid the duck face or any crazy filters. Also avoid having a photo taken from snapchat complete with pointless text and emojis.  A nice simple selfie is basically a self portrait (right?) You won't be judged, just keep it simple.
  3. Revealing too much - Wearing basically nothing or using a mirror selfie where your behind is stuck out to the absolute max, again, not cool. Totally unprofessional. Be prepared for judgement from not just potential employers but probably also your Great aunt Bessie who hasn't seen you since you were a 'such a little thing'. This is not the way she envisioned you becoming 'all grown up'.


Put your entire life on Facebook. This is one I see way too often. Drama should stay between you and your boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/Great aunt Bessie. No one wants to read about it. This is personal. PERSONAL. I can not stress this enough. This is not just unprofessional, but inappropriate. Keep it face to face (or at lest to text messages) folks!


Keep it PG - This is something I come across a lot on Twitter more than on Facebook. Twitter is just absolutely covered with nudes, porn gifs, and 'after sex selfies' (this is actually a real thing, I kid you not). Even though your parents and good old aunt Bessie don't follow you on Twitter, it doesn't mean that you should post these. A good tip to follow is 'what would my Nan think if she knew I posted this?'.. If you don't have a Nan insert another just as mortifying family member. Never put anything on the internet that you wouldn't want them to see. What do you think an employer is going to think if they go onto your Twitter and see your nudes? (Spoiler: you wouldn't get the job.. Unless you applied to work in a strip club in which case, go ahead!)


Let your 'About Me' give the wrong impression - The 'About Me' or 'Bio' section is your platform to tell people, essentially, just how great you are. Describing yourself as 'an introvert who spends way too much time online' really doesn't make you seem like that 'team-player with excellent people skills' that they read about on your CV. Avoid too many Emojis here as well. Your About Me section isn't your CV however, feel free to talk about your pet rabbit or love of Vampire Diaries if you want to, this is still of course your social media profile. My advise would to keep it short and sweet, maybe even add a little humour, but most of all make sure it still reflects you.


Post things you find interesting. Even if it's a funny cat video, people love cats. If you like art, post about the latest Grayson Perry series or an exhibition that you've seen recently. If you're a film fan, why don't you write a status about how much you enjoyed the new Tarantino flick. If you're into rock climbing, post a picture of where you would love to one day climb. It's things like this that give you a niche, making you seem interesting. Sure you want an employer to hire you for your great time management and passion for the company, but you also want them to employ you for you.


Be too opinionated. I am by no means saying don't have an opinion. Just don't post outrageously opinionated statuses intended to get a reaction. Especially not on social or political topics. Expressing your whole hearted opinion is one thing, but being offensive is another. Avoid crude jokes e.g on the topics of racism, sexism etc, they are rarely ever well received. 

So there we have it. My top do's and don'ts for all of your social media platforms. If you take just one thing away from this article it would be to always be yourself, but in the most proffesional way.

Thanks for reading,
Abigail x



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