Ahh, what a great weekend! Hopefully they posted those pictures… let’s check.
*Taps on the keyboard, a few mouse clicks*
Hahaha, they did! Oh man that’s hilarious!
Damn, did we really drink that much beer?
Whoa who the hell is that I’m making out with… jeez I don’t even remember that..
Oh shit, they burnt it! That’s why I can’t find my work shirt.
*We’re burning this fucking shirt… because… hahaha… because… shhh shh, I’m talking!! Haha, because that fucking company… those fucks made me work late on Friday… so FUCK them! BURN IT!*
*Someone off camera throws in the old line “Burn baby burn, flames are gettin’ higher!” as the shirt is lit on fire.*
Haha, that’s too funny. I gotta comment on this… “Haha, you assholes, I need that shirt! I don’t know what I’m going to tell my boss. I’ll make something up.”
Yeah, I’m just running a little late. What? Why am I fired?
No I was just drunk! I didn’t actually mean it.
No, sir, I swear I don’t normally talk that way about the company…*Click*
It’s a situation that may not exactly play out this way, but if you’re involved in the social media arena, it’s something you’ll increasingly need to be concerned with.
I call this Social Media Backdraft.
If you haven’t seen the movie or know what Backdraft means, when a fire is deprived of oxygen fire can’t grow, but smoke and combustible gases accumulate, so if oxygen is reintroduced, (such as opening a door) the gases suddenly have the requirements to flame up and the result is a fireball that goes off like a bomb.
Social Media Backdraft is where your activities online are largely ignored by your employer, perhaps out of your employers ignorance, or perhaps because it’s your ‘personal life’ and not their concern. Suddenly, an employer clues in after reading a horror story and decides to check on you (and statistics say more and more employers and hiring managers are doing that.)
They check your tweets, your Facebook status’ or pictures and your blog, see content that hurts the company image – especially in sales, where the people you sell to may look you up before buying from you – realize it’s an issue and confront you, or fire you because of it.
Social Media Backdraft. Oxygen hits and the place explodes.
Personally, I’m not afraid to be controversial on Twitter. I go on rants from time to time. I don’t censor myself. I call a spade a spade. I’m honest about my life – in all aspects. Sometimes situations of TMI (too much information) occur.
And it’s lead to one “backdraft” where I lost a job opportunity almost a year ago because I was “Too honest and open,” and they “feared I would twitpic confidential data.” I laughed, and told them I’m not a corporate terrorist. I do have corporate filters I can put on. It’s not hard to be more private. Good social media people can adapt to what their client (or employer) want, while providing guidance and suggestions.
I start a new job tomorrow at @TrendHunter, as Social Media Editor, which means they have read my blog, likely read some of my tweets and have generally ‘Googled’ me. So they *should* know what to expect in terms of my social media passion and honesty – and considering they have hired me, like who I am.
Some tips though if your job is not in social media…
1. Google yourself. Find out what an employer can find out about you with just a search.
2. Be more private. Put your Facebook or Twitter accounts on private if you think they might hurt you or just don’t want random people to access information about you.
3. Clean up your profiles. Go through and untag unflattering images on Facebook. Delete certain tweets.
4. Think before you speak. A lot of people say things, and then regret it later. If you type it, don’t click ‘Enter’ until you’re sure it’s something you want indexed on the web forever.
5. Be proactive. If there’s photos of you doing something illegal on the net, have something to say about it. Don’t just assume people won’t notice. Address it directly if confronted about it. Simply saying “I was young and stupid” is no longer a valid excuse. Get ahead or fall behind.
If you have your own Social Media Backdraft story, please post it in the comments! (If you’re Canadian, you’ll automatically qualify for the Marc Jacobs BANG cologne contest!)