Business social media is not just an opportunity. It’s also an obstacle. Many businesses have rules, regulations, policies, and barriers that may preclude you from using any and all forms of social media that include their business name.
ACTION: Continue as an employee, but divorce yourself from the company as a person. There are no rules that preclude you from participating in any of the social media as a human being.
If you’re in banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, or any other business that has a legal department that begins with the word no and ends with the word no, then take the business name out of everything you do.
You can tweet about, and you can blog about, and you can Facebook about aspects of your relationship that customers and prospects deem significant, never mentioning the name of your company, or your affiliation with it.
There is no rule against telling people the best place to take a weekend vacation, how to keep your front yard safe, how to reduce costs of heating and air conditioning in your home, or your personal philosophies and insights about life.
NOTE WELL: Leave out offers to buy.
Rather, create opportunities that will allow you to connect and opportunities to get together and meet. A seminar, a networking event, even a party.
Make the information valuable, and I guarantee it will get forwarded. Business social media is an opportunity for you to build your personal brand, build personal awareness, build your personal network, and build your personal reputation.
Yes, it takes a little chutzpah, but it will save you the embarrassment, and loss of ground, of not doing it at all.
CONSIDER THIS: Suppose you left your job tomorrow, or get laid off, or get fired. The first thing your prospective new employer is going to do when considering you for a position is check your online status and your Google ranking.
In today’s employment world, you don’t even need a resume because your Google rank, your social media presence, and your overall online presence speaks way louder than what your high school gym teacher (from 20 years ago) thinks of you.
There is a big difference between reference and reputation.
And if you’re in sales, the only people I’m going to call for a reference are your prior customers.
FINAL PIECE OF ADVICE: If you’re frustrated by what you can’t do, start doing what you can do.