The micro-blogging website Twitter is certainly a nice way to procrastinate whilst at work in the office – one can feel connected with the outside world whilst concurrently being restricted to the often depressing confines of the office.
The at-work Twitter love is something that an increasing number of business owners have noticed however and as such some employees land themselves in trouble when they are caught misusing and/or wasting precious work time on such social networks.
Tweeting at work should not be a problem for any employee though who keeps the following three points in mind…
#1: Work-Related VS Non Work-Related Tweets
Business owners are very keen to keep time-wasting to an absolute minimum and this means that it is quite likely that the individual social networking profiles of each member of staff will be monitored regularly, as willevery online move made on the office PCs.
It is important then, to ensure that your tweets relate to your work and/or industry – a tweet about your new pet iguana or favourite candy bar really should be reserved for your own time (at least in the eyes of your boss…and he pays your wages!)
Whilst you should certainly re-tweet (RT) anything that might be beneficial to the company in which you work (for example; an SEO company would probably be interested in a blog explaining of the latest Google algorithm updates and/or would appreciate a RT of their latest on-site blog), you should avoid hitting the RT button on any tweets which are not relevant as this could also be deemed as time-wasting, even though you were not responsible for the original tweet.
#2: Cap Your Tweets
Even if all of the 43 tweets you happen to publish in one day are all related to work, it is likely that your boss will see this frequency as reflective of Twitter use that is too heavy. You should try then, to check your Twitter feed less often and only tweet when you truly feel that doing so is absolutely necessary and/or useful to your work endeavours or the company as a whole.
Even if you do cap the amount that you tweet, reading through an endless stream of tweets posted by others can steal a lot of time also. You should use a tool such a Tweet Deck then to separate the tweets made by work colleagues and other work/industry relevant users away from the rest of Twitter’s noise.
#3: You Speak for your Employer by Default
You might think that adding the clause “All tweets are my own and not [COMPANY NAME’S]” to your Twitter profile would be enough to protect you should you ever tweet/RT anything that your superiors would rather you did not but alas; this often isn’t so.
Even if your profile does not mention by whom you are employed, the company directors will still wish you totweet with the consciousness that you are representing the business – these days it often takes a few Google searches only to determine where a person works!
It is also important then, not to tweet anything that might be considered as delicate or confidential (e.g. the strategies used for link building, to use the SEO company example once more). It goes without saying also, thattweets containing profanities and uncouth commentary should also be avoided.
The author of this guest post – Katherine Marchland – always keeps a keen eye on how much time the employees in her own London office space spend on Twitter.