Social media has become the modern way of expression and communication. It’s a place to share your personality through Pinterest boards, gain an audience posting your latest fashion finds on Instagram, or simply share funny cat videos with your friends and family on Facebook.
What should you post online, and what should you keep private? In this blog post, you’ll learn the do’s and don’ts of navigating the land of likes and followers.
How does social media affect our lives?
Whether we like it or not, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate and our perception of the world. Brands are taking advantage of platforms as a way of reaching their audiences. Chances are your favourite fitness brand is getting involved with the latest internet trends. Speech on social media has become separated from our everyday way of communicating, as evidenced by the rise of internet slang.
In the online world, life is seen through a filter - but your digital presence still leaves footprints in the offline world. It’s in everything you do, from socialising to shopping. It can be used by potential employers, or represent your own business.
Keep your social media profiles professional with these tips.
- Control privacy settings across your social media accounts. Everything isn’t for everyone. Keep the content you wouldn’t want a stranger on the street to see private or friends only. Platforms like Facebook are making constant updates to privacy settings, so be sure to stay up to date with changes.
- Have a professional presence, no matter the platform. Think before you post: Would my boss want to see that? Many social media sites offer the option to have a private account. Your profile may be found, but content can only be viewed by approved followers.
- Read what you’re about to share. Is it relevant? Is it appropriate? Is there a spelling mistake or bad language?
- Consider having separate profiles for your professional and personal life. The content you’d share in a corporate setting is probably different to the family photos on your personal account. Plus, it helps you to maintain some privacy in this "always online" world.
- Interact with the community on social media in a positive, polite and friendly way. Share helpful and valuable content that aligns with your personal values. Remember that you are associated with the content you produce and share on social media. Bear this in mind when attaching your virtual name to others opinions.
- Create a unique and engaging voice on social media. Create a positive space that can be used to raise awareness for the causes you care most about. Passionate about eco-friendly living? Take the opportunity to share your thoughts with engaging content.
- Treat it like a shared platform and be considerate of others when posting statuses and comments.
- Post updates or photos that you might regret in the future. As mentioned, adjusting privacy settings is the best way to control who sees what. Privacy settings can also be adjusted to prevent friends tagging you in those embarrassing photos from last week’s party.
- Present yourself as someone you’re not. It’s usually easy to spot when someone is being inauthentic or has ulterior motives.
- Share the same message over and over, you’ll likely bore your followers. The same goes for oversharing - some things just aren’t meant to be posted online!
- Use hashtags excessively. Whilst fantastic for discovery, using too many hashtags will make your social media account seem like spam.
- Promote yourself too much. Especially if you are wanting to utilise your social media presence for business, about 80% of your updates should provide value to your audience. This leaves 20% for more promotional posts, to keep your followers updated.
- Drink and ...tweet. Once something is posted on the internet, it’s hard to take it back. Be mindful of what you are posting and how it may be perceived by other users.
- Believe everything you read or see on social media. There is a huge difference between reality and what you see on social media.
So, the next time you go to hit ‘send’ on Twitter or Instagram, think about who will see it and what it will say about you or your business!