We’ve seen the mistakes, some on a larger scale, we’ve seen people get fired, fined and ridiculed. There are a few things to stay away from on social media channels that will help you stay out of trouble.
First off, if you are using your real name on any social media platform, you are tied to your company. Even if its your personal profile/twitter account/page, etc., you are a representation of the company. There is no way getting around this unless you create an account with a totally different name and contact information. Which I’ve seen people do successfully. The more creative and obscure the better. So before you post/share/comment or even like a page, ask yourself, “What would my client think?”
Just stop. Social media is social. Its about building relationships, communicating and helping one another. The quickest way to turn someone away from you and your business on social media is to sell to them. Take time to get to know someone first, if you gain their trust, they will want to help you in any way they can. Be patient and focus on building the relationship.
This could be in any form. Whether it’s a political rant on why the opposing view is ludicrous or you are bashing a business, just don’t. Now, giving a business a legitimate negative review is another thing if it is valid. I’m talking about the book-long, all caps kind of bashing. And as a friend of mine always says, its okay to be political and even religious on social media if you can hang your hat on it. In other words, if it is who you are or the stance your business takes, then go right ahead.
This is in regards to not only photos but language. And no you can’t prevent someone from posting racy photos or posts, but you can prevent them from tagging you or allowing them to post on your wall or tag you. Spend some time in your settings on Facebook in particular, because this seems to be the channel people use for broadcasting inappropriate behavior for some reason. Be careful when sharing videos/articles with this as well. Make sure you watch/read all the way through what you are about to share to the world.
Social media has been hit hard with viruses over the years. The new way a virus can infect your profile/account is through videos. Ever see a video shared by a friend that doesn’t look like something they would post? More than likely, its a virus. The video screen shot is usually something shocking, inappropriate or racy trying to get you to click to view. First, don’t click on the video. Second, send the infected person an email (not a direct message or post) letting them know they are posting a video that contains a virus. You can also receive a virus via direct message. Again, if it doesn’t seem like something the person would send you, its likely a virus. Don’t click on any links, photos, videos, etc that seem unusual from that particular person. Most social media channels have steps in place to help clean up your profile after you’ve been infected with a virus.
One Message, All platforms
Now, if you are promoting a specific event it is acceptable to hit all your channels getting the word out. But, each channel has a different language, audience and available features. Some channels are more for business (LinkedIn), so you wouldn’t post pictures of your vacation on this platform. Hashtags are also not effective on LinkedIn. There is no purpose for them on this platform. Each channel has its own communication ‘language’, meaning how you communicate with someone on Twitter is completely different on Facebook. And there are always exceptions to the rule, but typically, if someone follows you on Twitter and not Facebook or Google+, there is a reason.
We all go through rough patches or funks. This is not the place to vent your frustrations or talk about how much you hate your life. If all you put out to the world is negative energy and information, people will eventually turn the other way. So if you are in a funk, maybe take a social media break for a few days.
We’ve all said it. “I cannot believe he/she just posted that to the world!” Some things are better left quiet. Avoid sharing too much in regards to your health, your ‘extracurricular’ activities, your financial information, etc. Being too open can also be a security risk as well as embarrassing. So avoid sharing information like your colon cleanse details as well as your home address. And yes, its happened and I’ve seen much worse.
There are a ton of other ‘What NOT to do’ examples and tips out there. We all have seen/been annoyed by those handful of people who cannot stop inviting us to play games. We’ve seen those who use social media as their diary or therapist. And we’ve seen those ‘lucky’ few who want everyone to know how amazing their lives are in every aspect.
Bottom line, when communicating and building relationships on social media, you should be genuine, be positive, be a resource and help others.