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Why Social Media is Important for Workplace Investigations and Security

Understanding the language of social media can help you stay in touch with what employees are sharing

Posted by Timothy Dimoff on August 7th, 2014

As a business professional, HR executive, security investigator, management or supervisor, you may not think it is important for you to know what your employees or prospective employees are saying on social media. If so, you are wrong! Social media has been around for long enough that most businesses realize it’s not just a trend. It has invaded the workplace, and as it continues to evolve and its uses change and expand, so does how we define it.

It is important for you to understand social media and the power it yields. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., are important to your business from both marketing and security standpoints. You can use it to reach people with a message but, more importantly, you can also use it for investigation and security purposes.

And while some companies make it a point to speak the language, it is as important for you to also have a good understanding of social media in general. You need to know how employees talk online, what they are saying about your company, what photos they are posting, etc.

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Importance of Twitter Slang

One popular social media site is Twitter. It consists of new phrases, acronyms, abbreviations, etc., that use fewer characters than before to convey even more textual emotion. Even the FBI has to keep up: its glossary of Twitter slang currently includes 2,800 entries.

New slang is a way for young people to take control of their communication, and get across ideas in ways that haven’t been done before. It can start online movements and encourage new interactions between users. Being a part of that conversation in an authentic way is a great way to engage the generation but is also a good way to know how they think.

FBI’s Official Guide

And now to help you, The FBI has recently issued The FBI’s official guide to Twitter slang, titled Twitter Shorthand. Twitter Shorthand  is 83 pages long, listing nearly 3,000 words … or acronyms ‘n’ such.

You can find it here. Whether you find the manual ridiculous or informative, some of the terms from the in-depth list will be sure to make you LOL!

And one last thought…it is equally as important for you and your business to have a social media policy in writing. Be sure to share this with your employees and to regularly update it as needed.

Timothy Dimoff
Timothy Dimoff

President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services

Timothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues.
He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University.

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