2017 has recorded several incidents of employees working in highly reputable firms whose social media posts have misfired and as a result brought the company they work for in to public ridicule and attack
It's a few hours to 2018 and if I have to give one advice to companies in Ghana on social media usage, my advice will be for companies to pay particular attention to developing social media policies and programs to educate and guide the use of social media by employees.
2017 has recorded several incidents of employees working in highly reputable firms whose social media posts have misfired and as a result brought the company they work for in to public ridicule and attack with the latest being the post made by the young and brilliant presidential staffer that has generated a lot of social media commentaries with some demanding her resignation (find image attached for the post below).
Whereas, I am not here to judge and make any decision on what she said, I think it's about time organizations look at how social media is used internally by its employees. Most of the time, organizations get too concerned about designing strategies on how they can use social media to win consumers or customers without looking at developing social media policies and programs to educate and guide the use of social media by employees.
Elsewhere companies employ or consult the services of social media education consultants to handle such a role.
To the Ghanaian worker who is deeply in to social media, these are simple guidelines you can follow to make sure your post doesn't subject your personality and the company you work for into public ridicule:
1. Communicate with context (don't make vague statements, qualify your post with emoticons etc.)
2. Don't make offensive statements; don't make posts to attack one another. It sends the message that you don’t respect others, and may damage the trust your audience has in you.
3. Don't claim ownership of what doesn't belong to you or make false claims. Anytime you use anyone's information be it image, video etc. don't fail to credit the person if possible ask permission from the person before you post. With this I hope you remember the case of Nana Aba Anamoah (TV Personality) when she got busted for making false claims that she was in old Trafford to watch her favourite team, Manchester United play against Sunderland and how it subjected her personality to public ridicule leading to her breaking ties with TV3.
4. Talking negatively about your boss or co-worker: to the Ghanaian worker who usually gets pissed about actions of an employee or boss, please note that social media is not the place to vent issues affecting you at the workplace. Workplace issues are workplace issues and as such should be discussed internally with your boss, HR or possibly your career advisor or mentor.
5. Publishing someone's private information or leaking a personal conversation (without permission): while we are always in the loop to publish a post on social media, we should be careful not to leak the private information of a friend or a certain organization. Not all information is meant to be on social media. Instances when we feel the need to publish such information, please ask permission from the other party if it's ok to get such information out there.
6. Attacking or insulting a politician or a political figure: to the Ghanaian corporate worker or citizen who maybe fed up with how governance is run or how politicians utilize the tax payers money, please note, while you are at liberty to write your opinion about the actions of our politicians, always be minded to criticize constructively and not to insult. Insulting or defaming a public figure doesn't only send a very bad signal about your personality but may in some instances lead to legal action against you.
7. Lastly, don't play double standard. Always be true to who you are and the course you believe in at all times and not chicken out when it does not favour you or a friend.
Thanks for having the time to read this piece. Don't forget to drop any suggestions in the comment section.
The writer of this article is the product team lead and senior digital and training consultant for eazzysocial. Eazzysocial is an Accra based social media company dedicated to helping thousands of people gain relevant digital skills and grow their business in a social-first world.
LinkedIn/ Gad Ocran, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org