Dealing With People Who Are Dealing In Social Media

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If you could tell the Human Resources department your Top 10 dos and don’ts of Social Media for current and prospective employees, what would you tell them?

This was the question posed to me by the communications people behind the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) for their upcoming annual conference and trade show (where I will be doing a keynote presentation). Here’s what I told them…

Top 10 Dos And Don’ts Of Social Medial For Current And Prospective Employees:

  1. Encourage employees to have their own personal brands online. More here: Personal Branding Is Not An Option – It’s Crucial To Success.
  2. Make sure to have Social Media Guidelines in place (so employees know what is cool and what is not). More here: Does Your Company Need A Social Media Policy?
  3. Understand that each and every day the world moves to being more open – this means we have to be more honest. More here: Open.
  4. LinkedIn and Facebook are a reality. Deal with it. People are connected and they will talk, share and communicate. More here: The Connected Agency.
  5. The new resume is not an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of white paper… it is Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. More here: Employment 2.0.
  6. Being transparent about your affiliations is table stakes. More here: Transparency Is The Starting Point – Credibility Is The Finish Line.
  7. Building credibility is not easy. It takes time, effort and focus. More here: Trust Is Non-Transferable.
  8. All of us are now content creators and publishers (whether we accept it or not). More here: Content Overtakes Communication Online – Context Is King.
  9. Twitter and Facebook are not a time suck. Bad employees who are looking for something else to do besides work are the time suck. More here: Twitter For Business Works.
  10. If you keep your online profiles up-to-date and stay engaged in online communities, you will be knowable and people who are knowable are always employable. More here: Why Invest In Social Media?

What would you add to this list?


  1. Some great, practical advice here. Hope you don’t mind me adding another aspect to this, which I am sure you will cover in your presentation – that is the importance for companies (via their employees) to focus on the “hot conversations” within their niche, adding value and establishing the company as an authority by doing so. All the very best with your presentation Mitch – great material.

  2. I would also add that although I might not be a ‘social media person’, facebook, linkedin and twiiter are mandatory regardless of job type. I was recently asked at an interview if I had a facebook account even though the job was not related to social media whatsoever.
    I agree, transparency is the new norm and we must be diligent in our writings as it could fireback against us. We all will become publishers to a certain degree which will cause a sea change in the world of communications, hence, newspapers, magazines, blogs will flourish and will be looked upon as a sacred community to which to belong to. Just my two cents…

  3. I “get it”, but will offline companies with a nineteen eighties static website “get it”. If they have employees creating their own brand with these online tools, they might feel it’s a threat to the parent company. An online coup d’état. To many of the non online companies who here the news paper buzz about Facebook and Twitter, but don’t understand what it is or it’s potential in business. I am still trying to understand the total potential of it all and I also think there are too many businesses reluctant to try and understand it. It’s a bad position for us employed personal bloggers.

  4. This is a very informative post. You have listed out some crucial points out here that every current and future employee aspiring to make a career in the social media field needs to take care of.

  5. RE #9. I get to say: “do that shit on your own time” at least 3 times a week at work. By your logic, being on Facebook or Twitter at work makes you a bad employee. This I can get behind 100%.

  6. Great list as expected. Thanks Mitch.
    I would like to add a comment about ‘the time in which we live’ :Friends and relatives have commented to me that the invention of email had analogous responses in the workplace and look how far we’ve come with that. we’ll see what happens…

  7. Good stuff, Mitch. I would add that sites like LinkedIn are serving as tremendous recruiting tools. Sites like Monster are losing market share to cheaper social media-oriented sites.

  8. I couldn’t agree more. I think when I take job offers in the future I should make it contingent that they bring you in to talk to everyone first.
    As an editor of an ONLINE magazine, I am constantly surprised by people who write to me for work who have zero point zero online presence. You want to get your writing chops? Don’t wait for a magazine to give you a byline. Start a blog.
    Also, I want to hire people who are willing to be brand ambassadors for us. People who will tweet, retweet and share on Facebook links to what they’ve done on our site or what they love on our site. They should be actively engaging in conversations online. I don’t have time for analog minds. I can barely keep up with how quickly technology is changing — I need people who “get it”.

  9. Thank you for building a succinct list of topics that make the biggest impact on social media.
    I must say that personal branding scared me at first. I could not decide whether it was the big, frightening committment monster or the misunderstood mouse. In the end I decided it was a happy medium. Your article “Personal Branding is Not an Option” explains quite clearly what I could not wrap my head around. It is important to show that you are focused and unique.
    My issue with being “open” is that there doesn’t appear to be a bottom line anymore. How open is too open? What information is classified as too personal? I suppose it ranges from person to person. It ties hand-in-hand with your point on mindful blogging. Mindful blogging is intimidating because you know you are being judged on your most intimate thoughts. You feel dejected when your ideas are rejected. Do you learn to grow a thicker skin or do you refrain from the overshare? How much do you dare to bare?
    It seems that to combat all of the negative, you must make acceptance the name of the game. Social media is here to stay. Therefore, fighting a losing battle will only make you feel worse about the whole idea. Social media is based on a reciprocal relationship. If you use it to your benefit, you will grow to love it.
    Online updating is the new black.

  10. In addition, human resource departments must also develop strategies to retain skilled workers. To keep these talented people, HRDepartment should revise the guidelines for promotion with the help of management and reward all the personalities involved in key areas of business.Guidelines for being in hr department

  11. The term employment 2.0 really caught my attention, and I immediately understood its meaning. I also agree about the demise of the traditional resume. An online presence that aligns with the image, strategic goals, and objectives of a company is imperative in today’s digital age. The last two companies I’ve worked for required that we keep an updated blog and twitter account. A potential employee’s online identity will give a potential employer a better indication of their compatibility.

  12. I am glad that you mentioned LinkedIn. Knowledge of LinkedIn even for those without a personal profile is essential in an increasingly social media savvy market. With LinkedIn you can network in a straight forward manner, whereas Facebook is too informal for professional networking. There is also a desirable demographic on LinkedIn that recruiters should take advantage of, and potential employee’s need to exploit every job search engine in this economic climate. Your LinkedIn then becomes part of your Employment 2.0 resume.
    Blogs are also an important component of Employment 2.0. People’s personalities and passions are becoming important commodities. I would advocate for this if it is done professionally as it improves the Personal Brand of employees and adds value and depth to a company. Do you think this is a trend toward corporations promoting an image of being a collective people rather than one corporate face?

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