Whether you’re a small business, a global corporation or an individual, your social media presence can have a deep impact on your reputation. Social media is a valuable tool. It’s meant to be social and is a great marketing tool. Unfortunately, many businesses use the platforms in the wrong way.
Before your next tweet, look carefully at these dos and don’ts of social media. Doing so could protect the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.
1. Do steer clear of religion and politics
While these may be hot topics at the family’s Thanksgiving table, they have no place on social media. Unless you’re a religious-based or not for profit company with a certain value set you’re trying to exhibit, discussion of religion and political views will only alienate prospective clients.
2. Do keep the personal details to a minimum
Again, social media is sharing. But there are, frankly, some things you shouldn’t share. Personal information about your children, health issues and, to be blunt, any part of your reproductive system are just a few examples of personal information others don’t need to be privy to.
3. Don’t talk badly of others
Do you have a customer who’s driving you crazy? Is a manufacturer giving you troubles with billing? Social media is not the place to air your grievances with others. A more professional approach would be to contact that person directly. Doing otherwise will only force prospective customers to wonder if you’ll be talking badly of them, too.
4. Do check your privacy settings
This is particularly true for individual social media accounts. If you’re sharing information about your job hunt, your kids’ pictures or just about that demonstration you went to last weekend, consider checking your privacy settings. Social media platforms allow you to hide what the public sees, which is a good idea for many people.
5. Don’t use hate speech
This one is a no-brainer. There is no room for hate speech on the internet or anywhere else. This means talk about someone’s religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, weight, skin color and a host of other attributes. Bullying and discrimination are never okay, whether on social media or not.
6. Do stay away from arguments
Social media has a reputation for being volatile. It’s so easy to get sucked into an argument on social media. Whether it’s about the superiority of one football team over another or it’s a squabble with a competitor, arguing on social media will make you look unprofessional. Stay away from arguments, and do your best not to start them. Simply think before you post.
7. Do be social!
Using social media is a great way to engage with your customers. By doing so, you’ll allow them to see the personality behind the business and you’ll begin to build your brand.
In addition to promoting your business and your personal brand, use social media as a venue through which you can, well, be social! Join the conversations others are having, whether they be about the snowstorm in North Carolina or the basketball game in Washington. Socializing with others is an excellent way to meet colleagues, customers and even competitors. They want to get to know you just as much as you want to get to know them!
8. Do clean up your past
If you’ve posted a few things which weren’t in line with your professional goals, it’s okay. If others have posted negatively about you, you can fix that, too. Reputation management companies like BrightPast can remove those things you regret, not just from social media but also from sites like Yelp! and Foursquare. So even if you’ve made mistakes on social media, it’s not too late. You can clean up your past and begin to establish the internet presence that you want others to see.
For additional information, check out The Guide to Online Reputation Management – click to read more!