In today's world of social media, you can't be too careful what you post online and yet... it is extremely important to have an ongoing social media presence. These two things can be hard to balance. To help you out, we have summarized a few examples of what can happen with bad social media management as well as included some of the precautions that you can take to protect yourself.
Why do you need to know this? You can only use 140 characters in a tweet, how much damage could it really do?
Much, much more than you may think. We are now in a world that leaves no room for privacy and judges your personal social activities as a reflection of your business. Regardless of whether they actually effect each other. If a client sees something that they don't like on facebook, it doesn't matter if they blow it out of proportion (of course this is subject to everyone's personal opinion) it can effect your whole career.
- This unfortunate woman earned her living as a teacher in the United States and posted one holiday picture of herself holding a beer and a glass of wine on facebook. Did she drink on school grounds? Did she post it for everyone to see? No. She had her security settings on but one parent of her students managed to find it and report her. She lost her job and is now fighting a legal battle to earn her job back. Because of one photo that was posted only for her friends and family to see and that wasn't related to her job in any way.
- This lovely nun helped digitize the convent's archives and used their computer to do their banking online which saved time going into the city. The local government even gave her a prize for her work. What was the problem? She also made a facebook account to share good news with the community. With her award came a bit of fame and more "facebook friends" which became controversial within the convent. Nothing she posted caused problems, only the fact that she had a facebook account at all. She lost her habit after 35 years of dedicated service to the order.
It isn't only people that can be effected by these catastrophes. Businesses can get the run around, too.
- "A twitter campaign by McDonald's backfired when people started sharing the wrong kind of #McDStories." They planned a Twitter campaign using two hashtags - #MeetTheFarmers #McDStories - and while the former went splendidly, #McDStories took a turn for the worst. People started tweeting negative stories about finding fingernails in their food, among other things. Luckily, they had a contingency plan and quelled the trend before it became too impossible to control but it goes to show that even well meaning media campaigns can be taken the wrong way.
- How about this backfire: The National Rifle Association scheduled this tweet "Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?" which seems innocent enough except for the fact that it went out just after the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting that killed twelve people. Needless to say, that didn't go over very smoothly.
- "CelebBoutique, an online store that lets people fashion themselves after their favorite celebrities, learned an important social media lesson the hard way," too. They also sent a tweet out around the time of the Aurora shooting, however, their tweet included the Aurora hashtag. Not realizing that the hashtag was trending because of the tragedy, they used it to promote their line of clothes. Oops. It offended such a large amount of people that a facebook group called for a boycott of the store.
So what's the lesson to be learned?
Be careful of what you post. Steer clear of political and social issues. Respect other peoples’ right to their beliefs and do not advertise or preach your own. It is safer and will keep things amiable between everybody.
Here are some specific tips to help you achieve that:
Be careful of what you share from public pages. When sharing an image off another page’s album, people can scroll through the entire album. Wrong messages may inadvertently be sent.
Keep personal updates separate - you can create a list of “Close Friends”, as well as a “Limited Profile.” This way you can exclude people from seeing certain postings you make. For example, if you post pictures from the weekend party, it is best to keep it open only to “Close Friends.” Here is a facebook support article about how to achieve this.
- Limit people from tagging you and automatically appearing on timeline. Put a permission restriction so that other people tagging you on videos/photos needs your approval before it appears on your timeline.
Social media is crucial for keeping your brand open and easy to connect with for clients. Unfortunately, you must also be very aware of what it is that you are posting. You have heard that it can be better to have a conversation over the phone than over email or text because it is less likely to be misinterpreted. The same ideology applies to social media. It is very easy for a person to take the wrong way, even when it is not meant to insult or discriminate. Don't forget to keep the above tips in mind and you could bring business to the next level. Good luck!
**Disclaimer: Agents are responsible for their own social media platform; Brixwork is not responsible for any Agents' content unless we have taken on updating your social media as part of our agreement.