We all have done things we regret. But put an inappropriate remark, photo or video on social media, like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and you could regret a mistake for the rest of your life. That goes for you personally, and certainly your company’s social media, as well.
Added stress unwanted
You are your own brand, and you represent your company – as an owner, or even if you are solely an employee. Countless times, people have made inappropriate remarks on social media, and for some, that has turned to the unemployment line.
Let’s face it, it’s tough enough to turn a profit these days. Companies don’t need distractions or an upset public to hurt revenue – especially when it’s easy for the public, and sometimes the press, to figure out where you work. So don’t expect your boss, and your boss’s boss, to stick with you for a self-inflicted social media misstep. It’s typically easier for them to distance themselves from you.
When it comes to getting hired, companies typically check out your social media posts and history within the hiring process. It’s a great background check on you. Your potential employer can tell a lot about you by your social media personality, content and tone. Always ask yourself, if one day I ran for president, would I want this out there (OK, that may be a little extreme). The point is that once you put something on the Internet, it is out there forever, even if you think your privacy settings are maxed out (one of your “friends” can always do a screenshot). So always think before you post or share something. It could mean hurting your company’s business, or not getting hired.
Finally, I’m not saying to not be dynamic, or to compromise your principles. It’s good to begin conversations and take strong positions on issues, when appropriate. Just understand that if you decide to do it on social media, it is part of your personal brand, likely forever. So be measured and put your personal and long-term image first.
There’s no doubt how this applies to your personal and professional brand. But take this thinking and approach with your business’s social media. The same rules apply, especially if you are in a business that does not want to alienate potential or existing clients. I am sure you can connect the dots to how social media posts can help – or hurt – your business.