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Social networking tricks and tweets: Stay within protocol

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in Business Etiquette,Career Management,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Workplace Communication

Social media, such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter, are leading to confusion over what’s appropriate: Should your boss be your Facebook friend? Can you “tweet” about work? What would your firm’s VP say about your mentioning him in your blog?

Some companies are drafting social-networking policies. In the meantime, stick to these business etiquette tips.

Don’t accept your boss’s or manager’s “friend” request on Facebook.

In an article in The Arizona Republic, author Barbara Pachter recommends sending an email explaining that you keep your site for personal use. Your boss will likely understand. Ask if he would instead like to join you on LinkedIn.

Do you know who can see you?
Even if you haven’t “friended” someone on Facebook, there’s a chance that managers can see your profile or photos of you, particularly the photos that others post.

To keep all photos private, go to Settings > Privacy Settings. Under Photos Tagged of You, click Customize. Now you can choose who’s allowed to see any photos of you—only friends, only you, everyone or a select group of people. The same goes for any personal information.

Think before you post
on Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Badmouthing your boss is probably good cause for your company to fire you.

Also, think carefully about what you convey in each of these personal-branding tools. For example, if Facebook is for friends only, then a blog might show your depth of professional expertise, in which case you’ll want to avoid posting dozens of photos of your children or pets.

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