Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Story of @theoldcfo

We all have been warned.  Social media is a public media platform.  Whatever we share will be seen by many thousands of people, and some of them may be corporate compliance officers from your company.  Be careful what you post because what you post is public record.

Here's a story of Gene Morphis, savvy social media user who has 700+ tweets on his timeline and runs his own blog site.  He also used to be CFO of Francesca's Holdings Corp.  Note the past tense.  He received a pink slip the other day for tweeting snarky comments about board meeting, preparing for earnings call, etc.

"Cramming for earnings call like a final. I thought I had outgrown that..."
"Earnings released. Conference call completed. How do you like me now Mr. Shorty?"
"Dinner w/Board tonite. Used to be fun. Now on must be on guard every second."

What should surprise you is that comments like these are not uncommon in the workplace.  It could have been anyone.  Conversation like this can happen on the hall way or by the water cooler.

But guess what.  It's different with social media.  That's because it's public.  Once you make that tweet, it's out there for everyone to see, capture, analyze and respond.  We need to realize that when we click that 'post' button we are sending the message to media outlet to be aired instantaneously.  Twitter page should be considered as media interview page.

When company does not provide you with social media policy, that does not mean that there is no standard.  Instead of finding out about where the acceptable social media usage ends with your job, ask your manager what is acceptable social media usage.  It's better to be proactive than caught surprised by HR.

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