You likely already know everything you need to about what not to do on social media. You refrain from sharing photos of your award-winning keg stand, you’re mindful of not using any profanity, and you absolutely never rant about your job or co-workers.
Yes, you’re pretty confident with your level of internet professionalism. That is, until you receive that dreaded friend request from your supervisor. Sure, it’s great that he or she wants to connect with you on a personal level outside of the office. But, that innocent outreach is still enough to tempt you to deactivate your profile altogether.
Don’t panic—immediately disappearing from the social media landscape isn’t the only answer to this predicament. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do that not only give you the confidence to accept that request, but that can also boost your professional reputation in the process.
Be forewarned that you shouldn’t do all of these immediately—unless you want to look completely overzealous. You can do a few of these tasks before hitting “Accept,” and continue with the others on a regular basis to maintain the professionalism of your accounts.
And yes, don’t worry, you can still post that photo of your dog in his Halloween costume.
1. List Your Position on Your Profiles
First things first, you should make sure to list your current position on all of your social profiles. Tag your company in your Twitter and Instagram bios. Add your job to your work history on Facebook.
Not only does this inform your friends and followers about your career and related interests, it also shows your employer that you’re proud to work as part of his or her team. After all, a little ego stroking never hurt anyone.
2. Promote Your Workplace
Sharing positive news from your organization is another great way to demonstrate your workplace pride. So, make sure to post big news when it happens.
Did you recently have an article published on the company blog? Did the marketing department put together an amazing promotional video? Was your CEO recognized at an awards luncheon? Has a new position just opened up that you could help spread the word about?
Posting this type of content shows that you’re an engaged and enthusiastic employee. Plus, it gets important news about your business in front of a wider audience.
3. Share Updates About Your Professional Development
LinkedIn is likely the first outlet that comes to mind when you think about sharing news regarding your career. However, there’s no rule saying that you can’t post this information elsewhere.
Whether you just read an incredible book packed with helpful career advice, received an award, soaked up knowledge at an educational seminar, or had an amazing time at a local networking event, don’t hesitate to post about it. You’ll show that you’re well informed, connected, and passionate about finding different ways to get involved and better your career.
4. Post Relevant Industry News and Tips
Of course, you don’t need to limit yourself to only sharing news directly from your organization. Posting other relevant industry content is a great opportunity to prove that you’re always keeping your eye on the bigger picture.
Perhaps you just watched an informative webinar about crafting a compelling call to action. Or, maybe you read a funny and informative article chock full with solid networking tips. Share these tidbits with your friends and followers, and your boss will not only look at you as a great employee, but an emerging thought leader as well.
5. Follow Industry Leaders
Speaking of leaders, if you’re not already following a few inspiring and motivational industry leaders on social media, you should do that now.
Why? Well, there are a ton of benefits for you! First, you’re instantly increasing the amount of valuable content that fills up your feed. These influencers often share powerful articles and videos, which you can then repost on your own account (remember the point above about sharing relevant news and tips?).
Many of these leaders also boast pretty impressive social followings. So, you’re more likely to connect with people who share your interests and career passions. (Did someone say networking?) Finally, you’ll demonstrate to your boss and co-workers that you appreciate deeper internet insights than just the ones that come from Grumpy Cat. Trust me: Your boss will be pleased to see that tiny motivation on his or her newsfeed: Your Name just started following Sheryl Sandberg.
Sure, you know enough to maintain a clean and professional social media identity. But, before accepting that intimidating friend request from your supervisor, you might feel the need to take things one step further. Put these tips into action to accept that request with confidence—and impress your boss in the process.
Photo of woman texting courtesy of Shutterstock.
TopicsTools & Skills , Facebook , Bosses , Social Media , Workplace Relationships , Syndication , Social Media & Blogging , Work Relationships
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) they love. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author