We may not always realize it…but social media has become the center of our everyday lives. It may seem crazy, but the average person will spend nearly 5 years and 4 months of their lifetime on social media. With every passing day, social media grows in numbers, and innovates our lives in some way. Gone are the days where we pick up the phone to call a business…we Facebook Message them. We don’t go to that new restaurant until we’ve taken a good look at their Instagram page; and don’t bother calling customer service to complain or express frustration…you can now tweet them.
While I love and embrace the power of Social Media (spoken like a true Social Media Strategist); I can’t help but cringe at basic common mistakes made daily on social media. Here I share my top Do’s & Don’ts of Personal Social Media Branding:
Network & Engage
Social Media was created with the purpose to share content with others and network with family, friends, and business professionals. Share articles that interest you or post to spread the word about a passion or goal you are striving for professionally. Facebook is my greatest resource for staying in touch with family and friends that I can’t meet with face to face. Utilize features such as Facebook Live, Private Messagers, or Instagram Stories to stay in touch.
While posting and sharing is an important aspect of social media; don’t be afraid to engage with others as well. Share ideas, ask and give recommendations, and join groups that interest you. I get some of my most creative ideas, interesting conversations, and best dinners from content found on Social Media. Don’t be afraid to give your opinion—within reason. I tend to stay away from topics of religion and politics—posts of this nature never seem to end well.
Be on Your Best Behavior
I am absolutely guilty of judging an individual by their behavior on social media. While I respect the freedom and creativity of posts…nothing makes me rage more than vulgarity, discrimination, or hatred on social media. Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t be willing to admit to someone face to face. We hide behind a keyboard feeling braver to say things that we normally wouldn’t dream of saying out loud. Be kind, polite, and on your best behavior.
I am by no means a grammar queen, and I myself am guilty of typos and missteps…but do yourself a favor and proofread. Use appropriate grammar, spelling, and if you aren’t sure…google it. Not sure whether to use the word accepted or excepted? Their, There, or They’re? A 10-second google search will save you from hours of embarrassment. You will be judged by what you say, and how you say it.
Offended by a friends post? Regretting your latest update? Social Media has plenty of features that allow you to hide or delete posts and report content that shouldn’t be online. I utilize the 3 strike rule with friends or businesses on Facebook. If I’m constantly seeing posts or comments that spam or offend me…I’m not afraid to unfollow or unfriend.
One of my biggest pet peeves on social media? Lack of Authenticity. Your pages on social media should reflect your beliefs, values, creativity, voice, and true beauty. I often see profile pictures, posts, and content online that in no way reflects the person behind the profile. Don’t hide behind a mask of someone you aren’t. Your profiles should be an extension of your true self, and are a way to interact with others.
The next time you’re angry, frustrated, passionate, or just need to go to the bathroom…pause before hitting social media. There is nothing (feel free to back me up on this below) more annoying than seeing a novel posted about your latest breakup (trust me, no one will read it), a cryptic post about how upset you are, or an hourly update of everything you did today on social media.
Spam Your Friends
While I love Lularoe, CandyCrush, and supporting my community…nothing is more annoying than 400 invites to level up, constant posts about the latest sale, and event invites for things I have no interest in attending. Don’t assume every one of your friends will want to support your business, help you level up, or support the same cause. Be selective with sharing content with others, and if unsure…just ask!
Talk Negative About Work
Just don’t…like ever. You never know what mutual friend, community member, or supporter will relay the message of how you feel back to your work.
Be a Know It All
Just because it is your opinion…doesn’t mean it is everyone else’s. Accept diversity, be open to other’s point of views, and embrace the value of shared ideas.