Know your (social media) norms

(Those of you old enough to remember Cheers, I’m not talking about that Norm.)

I was paging through my reader this evening and came across an article by the always-wise Jeremiah Owyang about handling your boss’s connecting with you on Facebook.  You probably know where I stand on this already, especially if you’ve read my post “Five reasons to ‘friend’ your co-workers (or boss!)“.  Basically, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage if you have the opportunity to do this, and don’t.

But one thing Owyang talks about that I failed to, is how to handle being the boss and entering this situation.  As a manager I’ve been in this situation a couple times, and chatted about it with co-workers over lunch.  The key to avoiding difficulty is knowing (and communicating) your social media norms.  For reference, here are mine, as relate to mixing work and online networking:

  • I will never send a Facebook invite to an employee I currently manage.  It’s not fair to ask them to make that decision.
  • I will send Facebook invites to other co-workers (including managers), and always include a disclaimer about how I don’t mind being rejected because not everyone uses these sites the same way.
  • I accept any Facebook invite from anyone in my professional network, and count on using the filtering mechanisms if I need to.
  • I will send LinkedIn invites to anyone in my professional network, and accept all of them as well.
  • I will not write a LinkedIn recommendation for anyone I currently manage, nor for people in my immediate “family” at work.
  • If you mention your employment at EMC, I will follow you on twitter, unless your update stream is embarrassingly bad and you clearly aren’t expecting anyone from EMC to have noticed your passing mention of your job.

I’m sure I have more, but these are the ones I rely on day-in and day-out.  What are yours?  If you don’t know, maybe it’s time you figured them out.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 gminks on 09.11.09 at 5:41 am

I like the second one. I haven’t added that disclaimer, but ppl have told me they felt bad about not accepting and I felt bad I made them feel bad. I’m like you – I understand why people put different boundaries around SoMe sites.
I’m going to start adding the disclaimer, what a great idea.