Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Are You at Risk for Being "Facebook Fired"?

Although Facebook can act as a small business’s saving grace (thanks social media!), it can also get individuals (and even companies) into a boatload of trouble.  When an employee of a company gets in trouble for what they put on Facebook, they can be fired in an instant.  In fact, so many people have had this happen to them that the term “Facebook Fired” has been coined in the business world. 
Last week, I attended the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Brainfood Breakfast called Does Facebook Have You Twittering about LinkedIn?  The breakfast discussed the importance of social media, especially when it comes to networking and getting your company’s name out there.  But in addition, the seminar also covered an area that I wasn’t as familiar with: that of being “Facebook Fired”.
In the seminar, I was introduced to one of the funniest and most infamous “Facebook Fired” real-life examples:
So the next time you’re tempted to vent about your job, make a funny comment about a partner, or post pictures of yourself after you called in “sick”, just remember, you could get “Facebook Fired!” 
Obviously, this is one of the more extreme examples of "Facebook Fired", but it is only one of the many.  Avoid becoming "Facebook Fired" (or having to "Facebook Fire" someone) but following these general guidelines:

Facebook Tip #1: Use your Facebook account for the social part of your life.  LinkedIn can be used just as effectively for your work life.  This may mean not friending your boss or your coworkers on Facebook.

Facebook Tip #2: Keep in mind that once it's on the Internet, it is public.  No matter how "secure" your privacy settings are set on Facebook, there may be a way for someone to access it.
Facebook Tip #3: A good rule of thumb for deciding whether or not to publish something on Facebook: if you have to debate it, DON'T POST IT. 
Written by Allison Way.  Allison is a writer for Think Big Partners, Kansas City’s early-stage startup incubator and business accelerator.  To read more of Allison’s work, check out the Kansas City Entrepreneurship Examiner as well as her articles on Helium, BrooWaha and eZine.  Follow Allison! @AllisonThinkBig

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