Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and that may not be such a bad idea these days), you know that “social media” is everywhere. President Trump has certainly underscored this fact through his near daily use of Twitter. It seems like almost everyone has a personal Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook account. In addition, most professionals have a LinkedIn account. They might also have an Instagram account and a blog or two as well. I personally am guilty as charged on all of these counts. Likewise, most companies have multiple social media accounts and they are used by the CEO, CFO, Marketing, Corporate Communications/Public Relations, HR, Investor Relations, and for crisis communications. Lastly, many companies are now using collaboration tools like “Slack” and “Huddle” to connect their employees (and their employees with their customers). These tools are, in many ways, simply private social media sites.
While there are many positives to social media, there are also a lot of negatives. Or at least the potential for negatives. As in-house counsel you need to be aware of the problem areas, especially as to your own use of social media. This edition of “Ten Things” discusses some of the basic things you need to think about when using social media or advising your business colleagues about the same. The answer isn’t to stop using social media, but to always be thinking about the implications of what you post. You need to amplify your self-awareness skills whenever you go online. And always keep in mind that while your social media account may be “personal” it reflects on you and will (good or bad) impact your relationship with the company. Here are some things to think about: