#BeSmart about what you post on Social Media
First came diaries. Then came blogs. Now there are countless platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, for people to share their every thought. However, unlike its predecessors, everyone has an account and access to your most intimate posts. Yes, a future employer may see that picture you took in Cancun from 2006. Maybe a client sees your rather passionate post about who you think should be the next president (or who should not be). Even the posts you like on LinkedIn tell your connections about yourself. As an employee of a company, you represent the brand wherever you go. It only makes sense that in a world of increasing causality on social media, it’s important to make sure that you think before you post. Here are some tips to make sure that you #BeSmart on your personal and professional profiles.
Post without being personal? Impossible. But with the social media landscape constantly changing and new platforms for expression in play, it’s important to think more about managing your online “self.” The golden rule is to present yourself online as you would in person.
#BeSmart Tip: Know The Permanence of Posts
A post can be deleted or erased, but in cyber space it lives forever. Unlike previous decades, life moments are documented for the world to see on Facebook. So if a friend has a photo of you on their phone, there is the chance of it ending up online, even if you do not want it to. Once something is posted it cannot be taken back. When it comes to your personal profile, think about the potential response to a post could have and the future consequences of said post.
#BeSmart Tip: Think About Your Following
Even when using a personal profile, it is pivotal that you consider who will be seeing your posts. Remember that anyone still has the ability to see your posts even if you are not connected with them online. So think about who could see your post. In today’s world, employers often say that they will do a background check before hiring, which also means a check of social media. Yes, your account may say private, but all it takes is a little snooping to discover more.
Make sure that you keep your photos and posts in check. A simple test for any post or picture is the Grandma Test. How would you feel if your grandma saw the post? Ashamed? Take it down. A little embarrassed? Still, take it down. If she would not approve, a client or employer would definitely not.
#BeSmart Tip: Follow Your Company’s Guidelines.
Or rather, make sure your company does have guidelines. Employers can create rules for employees to follow to ensure that they maintain a positive reputation online. Companies may even include a clause in a hiring contract for employees strictly prohibiting posting about your company. When presenting yourself on social media, remember that you represent not only yourself but the company you work for as well. Be sure to remember that there is a balance between personal and professional, and most importantly, never make a personal post from your work account.
No matter the size of your company, utilizing social media can have a high return on investment. Simple steps can take your company to the next level and even garner more support from your following. You can use social media to your advantage to reach potential new customers.
#BeSmart Tip: Build Your Brand
To stay competitive with other companies, build your online profile to promote your brand effectively on social media. If you haven’t already, create social media profiles on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Yelp. Even small businesses can benefit from online promotion so that your brand reaches a larger audience. Utilizing social media creates brand recognition and can help your company grow.
#BeSmart Tip: Use Social Media for Customer Service
Social media now serves as a way for happy and disgruntled customers alike to share their thoughts on your company. Instead of putting up your defenses, address criticism calmly and coolly. Becoming aggressive with responses only reflects poorly on your business, not the original poster. Be sure to offer solutions for people who are having problems that are fixable. If one person is having a problem, maybe others are as well. This could allow you to better your practices. For posters of positive content, make sure that you interact with them as well, even if it is as simple as liking their post. Online customer service builds brand loyalty.
#BeSmart Tip: Implement Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring allows companies to collect information from their online platforms to see if their posts are having a positive or negative effect on its followers or if they are having an effect at all. Negative engagement shows obvious red flags to companies, but little engagement with followers spells trouble as well. Depending the size of your business, you could take simple steps, like implementing Google Alerts to notify you whenever your business is talked about in the media, to monitor your company’s online reputation.
Sites for Social Media Monitoring:
- Google Alerts
- Twitter Search
- Social Mention
#BeSmart Tip: Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Sometimes, social media is not for everyone. When it comes to small or mid-sized businesses, there may not be room in the company to have someone devote all of their efforts to social media and online reputation management. It is perfectly ok to ask for help. Digital marketing experts, like Social Fire Media, can help take you on your way towards strong online brand management.