Read about how Instagram broke careers with people who got fired over their posts, and how you can use the app to your professional advantage instead.
People may choose to have two accounts – a private, personal profile as well as a public professional one. But more often than not, people will just have one generic platform representing themselves.
If you have an account under your real name, you must be aware you’re under the public eye. Anyone can see you, your friends, family, a certain online stalker or even potential clients and employers. The fact that other workers alike use the platform does in fact mean you need to consider your career when choosing what to post.
Countless people have been fired from their jobs due to their Instagram posts
Be careful what you post – it could render your professional reputation.
Here’s a list of some things you should avoid:
- Controversial and offensive quotes
- Especially ‘raunchy’ photo
- Pictures with a lot of drugs or alcohol
- Photos that go against a company’s or individual’s right to party
- Anything revealing sensitive information
Those generic guidelines seem pretty straight forward, right? Well, three examples follow of how a child care worker, restaurant manager and nurse got fired.
A woman working child care got fired for posting photos of the children she looked after. Why would she make a child she was babysitting a meme anyway?
A restaurant manager who posted receipts if he deemed it was a stingy #cheap tip. It’s a complete disregard for someone’s private life. That last hashtag takes things to a whole new level too.
After 7 years working at a hospital, one nurse was fired for a single post of an empty trauma room. The privacy rights of the photo wasn’t the issue, it was the insensitivity of it.
And that’s just to name a few. Business Insider posted about nine more cases for you to check out.
So, now you know what NOT to do, here is how you can use Instagram as a great tool to improve your career
I am an example of a user who uses Instagram for personal use but also utilises it to show the world what I do and how I may benefit companies.
- Become a business page
In the Instagram settings, you can set a profile as a business page even as an individual. It will then be public with your profession appearing under your name (mine is set as ‘Writer’, for example. Many celebrities on the other hand may put, ‘Public Figure’). You can choose what to appear as in the Category section.
- Write a professional yet friendly/fun bio
Use the bio to explain what you do and your images could then reflect who you are, your interests.
- Interesting and relevant posts
Whether it’s photos of you, your travels, book recommendations or pictures from work, make sure it’s clean and fun. If you’re a public business page, you can even promote posts for what you do. So, if you are offering a service, such as eyelash extensions, you could boost a beautiful photo and caption your offer. This way, it will reach people beyond your followers and hashtag viewers.
- Use the right #hashtags
Google your subject area and ensure you’re hitting the right audience. Avoiding having a whole paragraph of hashtags though – that just looks tacky!
- Consider if you should go private instead of public
However, if you feel your Instagram won’t necessarily help you, let’s say you’re a primary school teacher. Instead, it may be advisable to make it a private account.
Tijen Butler is the SEO Manager of The Learning Station, a training company in London offering courses in Functional Skills, child care, social care and construction. She also does freelance writing and marketing, with knowledge and experience in social media.