One of my Twitter friends shared a link to a very interesting article on appropriate corporate blogging which got me thinking about a similar topic. Where is the line between personal and professional in the social media world?
When I am on my personal blog or my personal twitter account, am I still representing my company?
If I make a rant about my job, company or boss on one of my social media outlets where I normally exchange thoughts with my friends, am I smearing and possibly hurting the reputation of the company?
What do you think?
I will paint a hypothetical so we can discuss:
My name is Jane Doe. I work for a company XYZ. I am into social media and so I can be found on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and of course, Twitter. I use these outlets to stay in touch with my friends and fans and like everyone, you can find out a lot about me if you were to come across me on any of these sites. Google my name and you will see what I do, where I work, etc.
I like to Tweet during the day to stay in touch with my people and on occasion I have been known to complain about my day. Sometimes work just sucks and I tell my friends that. My complaints are pretty general, but sometimes I really hate my job. I’m not making any blatant statements like, “XYZ is the worst place to work in the world”, but I have been known to complain.
OK, so I ask you dear reader – Is Jane Doe doing anything wrong? Is this an appropriate way to use social media? Does it matter that just about anyone can come across the Twitter complaint post, see who the person is and therefore find out where they work and make judgments about the company? Should we be able to openly express ourselves on our personal SM tools or are we always representing our company in this new age of open communication? Where is the line? Is there such thing as “personal” when you can almost always tie someone back to their company?
I’d love to hear your thoughts…