Social Media has penetrated more domains than we would have imagined a few years back. It is happening fast and its outreach is increasing exponentially. However, behavior modifications take time as we moved from print media to digital or from email to social. The idea is phenomenal and yet difficult to imagine. Let’s face a common fact, not everyone is as active on twitter as they are on Facebook. They all have a circle of trust, it is getting bigger one click at a time. When it comes to Social Network at Work, it is important to understand the term NSFW [Not Suitable for Work/Workplace].

There are a few basic points that need to be understood here:
1. Be there first: In the short history of Social Media, early adopters have often been most popular because they embrace the change with open arms. If your company is going social, be the first ones to adopt, propagate and experiment. Yes, there may be a few bugs but you will be one of the front runners in a culture that is here to stay. In any evolution, the species that has adopted the change has survived and succeeded, it remains true for digital evolution as well.

2. Advertise yourself: I love this quote from David Ogilvy, “If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope have you of being able to advertise anything else?”. You don’t need to have a marketing background to learn that the one thing you have to sell advertise the most is yourself.  Growth doesn’t happen to people to just work hard, it goes to people who work hard work smart and make sure that their best is visible to people above the ladder. People will then understand that you take ownership of the tasks you do and make sure that you deliver the best.

3. Most important: What is NSFW? NSFW is Not Suitable For Workplace. Do you think what you are about to post goes against your company’s culture or policies? Well, then don’t post it. Here is a useful link for you: http://isthatsfw.com/. However, more importantly a little common sense can never be harmful. 😉

4. More than just colleagues: I am sure you are interested in knowing your work buddies better but when it comes to Social Media, people get candid. Before you click on that “Add as a Friend” or “Follow” button, understand the implication your social network has on your professional network. Is there a video of you in a not-so-proud-moment of your life, try to get it removed by the person who uploaded it or try to accept the fact that you really are a badass and embrace it. If that video or picture goes viral for some reason, you really have no choice to be either honest about what happened or well… plastic surgery is always an option (Just kidding).

The point I am trying to make is once it is online, it is always there and the internet never forgets, neither is it kind. It is in human nature to speak ill of someone because not everyone is as mature as they appear, people love to gossip and trust me that embarrassing moment of yours will be a hot topic and there is nothing you can do about it.

5. How your offline behavior affects your online persona and vice versa: Your life and other people are now active online for a simple reason, people they know are online and they want to stay connected. Know where to stop and when to start. Draw the line. Maintain your Work – Life and online-offline balance. You might not have noticed this but before you know it you will start associating things from your life with what it is online. The addiction to share information needs to have its limits and only you can decide what it is.

6. Learn to open up and showcase your knowledge: Knowledge sharing is the best thing that you can do improve life for others. Quick DIY videos tips should be really helpful.

7. Blog: Blog, as much as you can. As often as you can. Give your ideas and opinions a voice. Do understand that articulation of ideas doesn’t have to be just written, take it to the next level.

Make life easier for others, share your knowledge to help, not just to show off. Share a few cool tips. If your company is going social, figure out what are they trying to understand from the existing social sites.

Its not Rocket Science, just Social Media. Having said that, I understand that common sense is ironically rare, so be sensible about what you post on your workplace Social Network. Care a little about what others think cause someday you might be the one in need for such kindness. 😉