Social media has been big news of late and I’m sure GDPR e-mails have been bombarding your inbox since the new legislation. What’s more, after the discovery that Facebook potentially leaked around 87 million users’ personal information, advice to check and change your security settings and the level of information you share online is everywhere you look. So how do we know how much is too much and what content we should be sharing?
Of course, this is a difficult question and it is very circumstantial but in the modern day, where social media is also used in a professional capacity, it is certainly worth thinking about. It is not only specialised platforms such as LinkedIn that get the attention of professionals and management either. Now a days it is more than likely that your bosses and potential employers will be checking your social media before giving you an interview or considering you for a promotion.
Remaining True to Yourself
This however, does not mean that you shouldn’t be sharing your day with your friends and family and posting images of memorable occasions. Employers will in fact be looking on your socials to discover a side of you that a nerve wracking interview may not bring out in the space of an hour. They are hoping to find somebody who will fit in with the team, who will join social events and be pleasurable to work with – not a work-obsessed ball of stress.
One of the most important things to remember when sharing things online is that it is out there for everyone, and I mean everyone to view. If it’s something that you wouldn’t want your mum or your bosses to see then do not post it.
Another major media rule is, never post whilst angry. Social media and a bad mood are a recipe for disaster. Always refrain from making a hasty post that defames the company you work at, one of your colleagues or even your office space. It is not unheard of that rage-fuelled tweets and Facebooks posts have led to employees becoming ex-employees. Oh, and this includes commenting, sharing and retweeting too!
Dig Deeper before they do
It’s also good to think about the information that you don’t see on the surface of your profile but what a little click here and a little scroll there may reveal. This is particularly true for the younger generation whose social media has been around since their early teens. Whilst it may have been funny to choose the jokey option when making your profile all those years ago, you probably won’t feel the same when it loses you that interview opportunity. Check everything right down to your supposed favourite film and the places you ‘like’ to visit.
The Positives of Refined Social Media
Although it may feel a little overwhelming, it is not all about warnings and safety nets with social media. As mentioned before, sites such as LinkedIn can seriously enhance your professional appearance and further your career.
Connecting with the right people, regularly engaging with online conversations and expertly portraying your brand is a great way to find your next job or business opportunity. Entrepreneurs and microbusinesses especially, find such platforms the first step in spreading awareness, allowing people a greater understanding of what they do and who they are; quirks and personal interests included.
Well, there’s Always Filters
While specialised professional platforms such as LinkedIn are available, it is not always possible to keep work colleagues separate from family and friends online. Colleagues will often become well associated with one another and will naturally want to be a part of more personal social platforms. This is where filters become a very useful tool. Just as your friends may not be interested in your very thorough presentation on stationary, your business contacts may not need to see how many tequilas you had last weekend. Filtering who sees what posts is a great way to keep everyone happy. Just always remember the rules stated above.
Sharpen it up
Lastly, let’s talk about spelling and grammar. In the early digital world where message characters accumulated cost and tweets only permitted 140 letters, spelling and grammar understandably went out the window. However, times have changed, especially when it comes to using social media to develop a professional persona.
In the modern day, Facebook pages and Twitter profiles littered with spelling and grammar mistakes highlight poor communication skills rather than a simple attempt to save characters. Sharpen it up and remember whatever you write online is a portrayal of your personal brand.
The online world is a complicated one and is forever advancing. Of course the way you use your social pages is up to you but spending a little time thinking about what your profile says about you personally and professionally may be worthwhile. Above all, keep yourself and your personal information safe.