What to do about coworkers and bosses and social media accounts?

Should you connect with bosses, clients and even coworkers on Instagram? FB? What to do to walk that line?

Disclaimer: Dave and Matt are not your HR Department or lawyers. For all legal related questions around hiring, firing and even your own internal social media rules you should consult a paid professional aka lawyer.

TL/DR version of “Should you connect with bosses and coworkers on Social Media?”

Dave of course says it “depends”. The other answer is much longer so read the transcript or listen to the episode! Sorry it really isn’t something that is easy to sum up.

What social media networks should you worry about?

While there are many social media networks out there we focused on the following for this episode:

  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Will Hiring Managers Look at Your Profiles?

Good lord yes they will or should. Whether the person is a recruiter, HR, future coworker or boss just assume that some or all will go looking for you online. They will likely find your various social profiles and at least poke around a bit.

LinkedIn Tips

Dave talks through some things he did when he worked in-house and at an agency. From hiding his contacts to updating his job details/wins each quarter. If you have a large success or win why not add it? If you constantly add things it wont raise a flag with internal recruiters, bosses or HR that you might be looking which going from a dated profile to very robust is a clear signal!

Tips for Business Owners/Management

As a manager and owner Matt connects with employees but lets them ask for the connection. He doesn’t want to make his employees feel awkward saying yes or no to a request and put them on the spot. He also suggests that as a manager or owner that you are consistent with whatever you do.

Tips for Employees

Dave gives his tips which includes being consistent for all coworkers and think about the long and short term. Think about if one coworker can see what others can’t do you put them in a tough position?

Full Transcript

Matt Siltala: Welcome to another exciting episode of the business of digital podcast featuring your host, Matt  and Dave roar. Hey guys, excited to have another one of these episodes come to you. How’s it going over there, Dave?

Dave Rohrer: It is going. It is not a Monday. It is a Friday. We are recording and clearly Matt is ready.


Matt Siltala: been a long day. Yeah. We won’t get into it, but, um, we’re here chatting about fun stuff today. I always love doing these episodes.

Dave Rohrer: I don’t know if this is a fun stuff.

Matt Siltala: Well, I enjoy doing these episodes with you. This is, this is a, well, we do it for you guys. Well, this

Dave Rohrer: topic, well, no, this is fun. Yes. 20 minutes of talking.

We do before, but the, um, yeah, this topic is a, I think, a dicey one for many people. It is sides of the aisle.

Matt Siltala: It is. And I think you and I bring, you know, we were talking before we started recording. Now you and I have great perspectives on each side of this as a, and we’ll just [00:01:00] jump into it, but without keeping you guys like in this suspense, what is it guy?

You know,

Dave Rohrer: it’s

Matt Siltala: what to do about, yeah, exactly. You already know what to do about coworkers and bosses and connecting with them on all the. The different socials that are out there, you know. Anyway, we’re going to, I guess we’re going to dump, jump into Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, you know, we can talk maybe about others, Reddit, Pinterest, uh, um, things like that.

I mean, those are the big ones. And so, um,

Dave Rohrer: so yeah, it’s, I think every instance is a bit different and everything. Everyone’s, how they treat it. And. On Facebook, I th I’m pretty sure that at least once a month someone’s on there talking about, you know, how, how do you accept, or who do you accept on LinkedIn and you know, what, what are, what are the telltale signs that it’s a spammer, that they’re gonna, you know, they’re just going to try to sell you something or, you know, what is your rules for Twitter and what is your rules for [00:02:00] Facebook?

And, you know, what do you share? And do you have a private account or a public account on Instagram? And I think that. Right? Cause I’m lame.

Matt Siltala: It always depends.

Dave Rohrer: Like, you know, if you have an open Instagram account, then you know, if you call in from work, don’t post that you’re at a theme park

Matt Siltala: that day. I always laugh at those kinds of people that were busted because of social media.

Like dummies.

Dave Rohrer: Yeah. Well, and when I was in house, part of my job was to manage and maintain and just monitor our brand. And so anyone I knew in the company that had a Twitter account or an open Instagram really wasn’t big then, but anyone I knew that had an open social account, I followed them, or I just added them quietly to a list.

Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. I’m on Twitter. I had a private list and it was just employees and I had alerts set up for our name, and once a week I [00:03:00] would just look at that list of from the Twitter list and I would just go through and make sure that no one was doing anything absurdly stupid. Like, don’t care what you’re posting really.

You know, if there was a concert you were at or you know, a family event or whatever, I was just making sure they weren’t. Speaking poorly or representing the company poorly in a way that legally or from a lead gen standpoint was going to hurt us for sure. Or just, you know, get us in the news.

Matt Siltala: And I think what you and I, when you know, before we started recording, what you talked about was, you know, for the, for the different perspectives as well, because this is like on, on, on your side of it.

But I didn’t even think about this until you pointed it out, but like on my side, completely different perspective as. Like the owner of the company. Um, and kind of like how

Dave Rohrer: I know management owner. Yeah. It’s a totally different ballgame.

Matt Siltala: Oh, yeah. Like I have no issues, no matter what. Like LinkedIn is one of those ones, like where, you know, it’s professional, whatever.

I mean, I probably don’t [00:04:00] have any, you know, very many personal friends on there that aren’t, you know, unless they’ve turned into personal friends that are professional as well. Um, but yeah, like typically what I try to do on. You know, cause my Instagram, my, my personal Instagram feed, uh, is, is a private one cause I tend to post a lot more just, you know, the family stuff there.

Um, but I have like, you know, my photography one, it’s definitely out there in the open, but these are the kind of like Instagram, Facebook for example. Um, even Twitter to an extent. These are the kind of ones where all, um, you know, if, if an employee or someone that I worked with like that. Friends, me, um, for the most part, I’ll go ahead and add them, but it’s not going to be one of those things where I’m friending them, making them feel obligated to have to like for the boss, you know?

And so that’s kind of how, like, how I approach those, if they want to, you know, if they want to friend me and you know, see how, you know, how boring [00:05:00] my family life is or, or whatever, um, then, you know. Well, that’s my take on it is what I’m trying to say.

Dave Rohrer: And remember, we’re not lawyers, we’re not, we’re not representing you as lawyers from your HR department because as you just said, that I just thought of through, if I was still in that role that I was in past and someone had an Instagram or Twitter account locked, how would I approach and what would I do to ask them?

Would I, would I ask their manager? Is it. You know, depending on the role and they’re placed. Is it really like for a small company to a large company, do you really care? Probably not. But if you know, when does, when do you care? Yeah. Is, I think an interesting question and I, for me, I probably wouldn’t care because if they only have, if they have it locked down.

You know, and nothing has ever showing up, then great. I don’t have [00:06:00] to worry about them. And you know, their accounts there, I know about it, whatever, and leave it at that. But I think you will run into HR, legal, um, all sorts of fun problems with that. But yeah, I never even thought about the a as a. You know, higher up friending, other people kind of do.

You do put them in a spot. Yeah. And that’s a subordinate and you know,

Matt Siltala: yeah. And I don’t ever want to put anyone in those kinds of spots if they want to. If they want to connect just to get to know me better or my family, or want to know who’s who founded this company, that’s fine, but it needs to be. Um, there’s now again, eh, you know, I’m glad that you pointed out that we’re not giving any kind of legal advice.

This is just kind of how I’ve seen it. And for the most part, I don’t think I’ve ever had any kind of, uh, awkward, uh, things that I’ve seen on Instagram or Twitter or anything like that. I think the most awkward stuff that I’ve seen is people that I’m friends with on games that I know that are playing games during [00:07:00] business hours or something like that.

But, um. I’m like, Hey, aren’t you supposed to be working? I’m not paying you to be working right now. That game,

Dave Rohrer: that is why I’m long ago on Facebook, what I would do is anyone I worked with or that was a boss or former boss, I put into a group, like literally they were just in a group or, um. Like a whatever it is for Facebook.

Yeah, and they were, anytime I would share anything, basically they saw very little, like if they were to look at my, my feed and my stream of whatever I’m posting, they’d see almost nothing. So maybe something around the holidays or every so often I’d post it just so that, again, they knew that I was using it, but you know.

Anything amusing or music or, Hey, look, I’m, you know, while I was on vacation, this is what I did. They didn’t see any of that stuff because I didn’t want to put my coworkers in a spot to say, Oh, Hey, [00:08:00] you know, Dave’s not in today. Yesterday was a Superbowl. What was he doing last night? Like when, and you know, I didn’t want any of my coworkers to be like, well, let me look on his Facebook.

Oh look, you know. He somehow decided to take a flight to Vegas and you know, it was probably stuck there and not really sick, whatever, you know, whatever stupid things we do is people. Um, no, I do not do that. But I didn’t want to put anyone in a weird situation, but I also didn’t know who could be become my manager.

Yeah. When I worked at an agency, my coworker and a couple of them became my manager. So if we’re friends on Facebook. And like, honestly, I think I treated at the time anyone at the agency I worked with was in their own filter and they saw very little. If they left the company, I would move them out of that bucket.

But even the former bosses, I always left in those buckets because I never know if I, if they would leave that agency and then they would hire me again.

[00:09:00] Matt Siltala: He had about the only kind of awkwardness I think that we’ve ever come across as someone will reach out to us on LinkedIn and said. Hey so-and-so, um, you know, I saw that so and so had worked for you or whatever.

And you know, they, they applied for a job and we’re just curious what your thoughts on them are. And we’re like, Hmm, that’s funny. Cause they still work for us. And so, um, anyway, that’s about, that’s about it. But like, I honestly. Um, and, and the thing is too, like, I try to be really respectful to if, if, uh, and again, I don’t know, like when all of the, we have enough employees now that there’s, there’s so many of them that I don’t know, um, when they’re off or if it’s a paid, you know, if, if, if, if they’re taking time off or whatever.

And so I just kind of look at, you know, whenever they post or I’m not looking at it, trying to be critical. I just look at it for, you know, it is for, it is what it is. And so I’ve just. You know, I [00:10:00] did my best to kind of take that approach and not ever use it as a, I’m going to like follow up on you or find out something about you.

Dave Rohrer: Yeah. But you’re also in the higher up, so you don’t have the direct reports where you have to worry about and figure out why, you know?

Matt Siltala: No, you’re right. And again, that’s why I’m just giving my perspective of it. Yeah, absolutely.

Dave Rohrer: On LinkedIn, one of the things that I always did is, um, is I tried not to friend anyone that was.

Multiple levels up from me or even higher than me, like any of my coworkers that were on the same level as me. And even sometimes I would or wouldn’t, but I would usually add everyone. Right about when I was going to leave a company not to give that away. Um, well, because in the, I also, for LinkedIn, I would hide my contacts because.

When I was working in an agency, the number of HR and recruiters from other agencies or other, [00:11:00] you know, talent type companies or whatever they use, recruiters would two a week, three a week. And if you’re, even when you’re not looking, you just keep adding recruiters, recruiters, recruiters, right? So I didn’t want anyone that was above me to see me.

One making changes to my LinkedIn. Um, and so when I did it, I would do it like after a quarter or I w I, I tried to make it so that I would update my LinkedIn on a regular basis saying, Oh, look, I spoke at this conference, and then I would sneak in other edits of things so that it didn’t look like if someone that was my HR or someone that thought I was interviewing would go and look and go, wow, day’s really got a robust LinkedIn suddenly wonder what did you, what did it look like last month?

Matt Siltala: Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: Cause it’s a telltale sign that you’re, you’re looking for new job.

Matt Siltala: Yeah. Well, eh, and again, again, it just goes back to perspective because like, I think I probably use LinkedIn the least amount [00:12:00] now I have other partners, you know, just based on the roles and what they do more than they probably on it more than I am on other things.

But, you know. When we’re just talking about that, it made me think of like, okay, well the ways that I use, like especially Instagram and Facebook, you know, if I happen to be friends with an employee or whatever, um, I, I really try to pay attention to like, things that they post or that they like, or just kind of what, you know, happenings in their life.

And it helps me get to know them a little bit more on a personal level. And so, you know, I could have that interaction where, you know, Hey, how’s so and so I saw that you posted on this. That was a pretty neat trip. How was it? Or. You know, if they’re posting about cupcakes all the time, if they do something good, you know, um, or if they landed a big client or something, just give them a, you know, a thing of cupcakes and say, Hey, you know, thank you for all your hard work, or however you want to do.

You see what I’m saying? You just like, you use it for like the thoughtfulness side of it and that, and that’s how I’ve used it a lot. Um, plus it’s also good cause like, if, [00:13:00] you know, there’s, there’s times where conversations have been started about something and you know, like, like on Twitter for example, like if a coworker is sharing a specific story or something where it’s like talking about, you know, in the workforce or the workplace or whatever, you know, what you want to think over.

Right. Well, is there a hidden meaning behind that? Or, you know, maybe they’re just, they just thought that it was good and I’m going to read it and I’m going to take it as for what it is. And, and so I just think sometimes, like, I dunno, there’s. There’s uses for it. There’s a, it’s just fun for me to kind of see what people are into and, and, and using it to get to know them a little bit better

Dave Rohrer: as a, as a hiring manager, every time I would get a resume, the first thing I ever did was start to Google their name.

Matt Siltala: Oh, yeah, definitely.

Dave Rohrer: And you know, the number of times where their social profiles and their LinkedIn would come in and I’d start, you know, poking around and looking, um. And then in interviews, you know, like one, I think it was a guy, yeah, he was in like a band. And I started asking him about like, you know, creative outlets and [00:14:00] how does, how does, how does he use music to inspire him?

And he just kind of looked at me and I was like, well, I know you’re in a band, dude. It’s like,

Matt Siltala: that’s funny.

Dave Rohrer: Like, I’m just curious, I’m young, I’m trying to figure out who’s be a good culture fit and who would be, you know, you have all these other things. And I know we have a bunch of music lovers and new year music lover.

Oh, bonus.

Matt Siltala: Yeah. Well, and the thing is that this is like crossing into people that aren’t, like in this industry and aren’t, you know, geeks with technology and stuff like that. Like, I, I think I, I’ve mentioned to this to you before, but like, you know, my brother for example, you know, he was asking a bunch of questions about these different social media use and ranking and this and that and, and some reputation management stuff.

And, uh, I found it interesting because one of the things he said that is like. I’m looking to move up and there’s a promotion and one of the first things that they do is they’ll go and look at who it is that they’re promoting. And so just like with what you said, one of the first things you’ll do is go on Google or one of the first things they’re going to do.

They want to make sure that [00:15:00] someone, especially if it’s a County job, who’s represented us, you know, what kind of stuff are they posting on Instagram and Twitter? Because we definitely don’t want to. You know, hire someone that’s posting racist stuff all the time or whatever it might be. And again, I don’t know what kind of legal issues you know, happen with stuff like that.

If you make decisions based on like, I don’t even know if you’re allowed to, like, I don’t even know, like the HR side of it. Again, you and I are not lawyers, but I mean, you can kind of like look at some, see if someone is like always belittling women are always posting racist stuff or whatever. I mean, you know.

You can, I don’t know. Can you say that you can use your common sense on judging character and not hire them or, I don’t know.

Dave Rohrer: I used it on the flip side, so if I was hiring for a developer and I found some of their social stuff, I would start digging in and saying, okay, Oh look, they, they linked to their get hub or they link to a website.

They, they helped build that. They don’t list on their resume. It’s like, [00:16:00] Oh, they have. A deep interest in learning beyond what they just learned in the classroom or that they just learned on their last job, or, Oh, look, here’s their own website. What do they have on it? Right. Um, I would usually use it more for, to try to find good, and I assumed I wasn’t going to find anything bad.

Um, I don’t think I ever did, honestly, like find anything that was like a red flag for me. But it was always like, just digging in to see what other interests they had, but also like if they were going to be on the marketing team. Do you, how aware of the social channels are you? How do you use them? You know, are you creating content?

Are you creating code? Are you a writer? You know, is there other places yet? You’re right. It’s just pushing that. Yeah, and so I was just looking at, you know, for that type of stuff, and if your bosses and coworkers and stuff, I think for me it’s whatever the ultimate should be. Whatever you feel comfortable with, but also know that.

HR and [00:17:00] bosses and stuff can use it against you. They can also use it to help you.

Matt Siltala: Yeah,

Dave Rohrer: like, yeah, that

Matt Siltala: again, I

Dave Rohrer: think it’s, it’s, there’s a good and bad to it and I think everyone should have their own. And you know, back to my, what does everyone do for Facebook? What do you approve and who do you approve and who do you approve for LinkedIn?

I think you have to just sit down and figure out where to put a stake in the ground and how you want to handle it. And then do it always. Because otherwise, if I only let certain coworkers in, you know, then what are the other coworkers going to wonder?

Matt Siltala: You gotta be consistent. Yeah, exactly.

Dave Rohrer: I think whatever you choose, just be consistent.

Whether you’re the matte, the boss, or you know, me and the person moving up the ladder and the agency or the in house company, you know? Well,

Matt Siltala: I mean, you’re, you’re a, you summed up my final thoughts perfectly on this. I, again, I just want to stress, and I think the most important thing on this for me is, is from my [00:18:00] end.

You know, as an agency owner or manager, boss, whatever you want to call it, um, definitely let them make the decision to friend me. I don’t ever want to put unwanted pressures or making feel like someone has to friend me just because I am the boss. Um, or that I own the company or whatever. I actually genuinely want that relationship if they want it.

So I’m going to let them approach it. And then even then I’ll take into consideration if, uh, you know, if it’s going to be a good fit or not. But I always try to be consistent as well. And I thought that was great advice, but those would definitely be just some of my final thoughts as someone that is a owner slash manager or someone above or in charge of people.

Um, so to speak. Definitely. You know, my approach is, is, uh. Let them come to me and then go from there. So

Dave Rohrer: yeah, I think on the flip side, for me, it’s just be consistent. Pick, pick what you think is going to work and apply it. Always. Like I would like for LinkedIn, I would [00:19:00] always, towards the end when I, you know, put in my notice or when I was right about to, I would start going through and making sure that I was either connected to people, um, or with start connecting.

And same thing with Facebook. Like. I would always put my coworkers in that group so that they would only see somethings so that across the board I didn’t put anyone in a spot. Um, not that I ever thought it would happen, but I also just one less thing to worry about. Awesome.

Matt Siltala: All right, well, um, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

Hopefully you guys got something out of this. As always. Uh, you know, David, I want to remind you guys to go to iTunes and definitely if you’ll, if you liked this podcast and you like what you hear. Uh, please, uh, give us a, um, you know, or review, uh, let people know what you like about it. And, and, uh, you know, we’re, we’re on lots of different places where we’re all across the board, but definitely if you can go to iTunes and write any kind of reviews, we would appreciate it.

E139 – Should You Connect With Coworkers on Social Media? Hosts:

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