The beauty of social media is that there are no hard and fast rules to go by. Instead, there definitely are conventions to follow and traps to avoid in order to fully leverage the medium to your company’s advantage and keep you out of trouble. Here are few tips –
Remember that different social networks are for different purposes. Adding a business contact on professional networking sire Linkedin is all right, but that person may not appropriate a friend’s request on Facebook or Orkut.
Soliciting business , may be fine on LinkedIn. However, doing so on another service, even with a friend, will most probably irritate people.
Even if your Facebook or Twitter account is personal, remember that you also represent an organization. See if your organization has rules and regulations about social networks. Thus expressing an opinion about a technology on your TWITTER ACCOUNT – “this software sucks” for example – may not be in good taste, particularly, if your company works on that system.
If you must solicit business, do so with internal messages on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Direct Messages on Twitter. Publicising a request unless you are throwing a picnic or a party, could make you look silly.
Even if your organization might not have any issues about social networks, do not reveal confidential company information. Remember, that on services such as Twitter, anybody and everybody can read what you are writing by default.
If your company is launching a new product, you could put up teasars and even a video on YouTube, or eevn talk about it on topic – specific online forums. However, please check with your marketing department if this is okay. If you are in marketing, be subtle in communiques. Online communitites loathe heavey handed messages.
The same thing applies with bad mouthing your competitors on social networks or even in a blog post. Other users might see this is bad taste and since your company name is associated with you. this could lead legal consequences.
Avoid talking down your boss abd / or colleagues, even in a private group. Just because you hate your boss, your “friends” might not.
Remember, this is the online medium. Just because you might be close to someone online does not mean that she / he is your friend, so be careful about sharing.
Be just as careful online as you are in real life whe you are flirting. Just because you are on Facebook does not mean that sexual harassment laws and rules do not apply. Keep in mind that India’s cybercrime laws are extremely strict in this regard. If you are worried about people adding you, please keep a higher level of privacy such as protecting your account on Twitter, even though that does not nullify the purpose of the site.
Remember that there is no such thing as total “anonymity” on the Internet, no matter how much you hide.
On sites such as Facebook, YouTube, or Flickr where you can post videos and photos, remember that you can increase your privacy setting to exclude certain people from seeing your photos. You don’t want your boss to find of you at party on a day you took sick leave, do you ?