Social media has given us an incredible ability to connect, socialize and communicate across borders previously unobtainable. With such knowledge, it is important to understand that what we put into writing on social sites is available for the world to see. Social media gives us a voice, an outlet and an important social responsibility to monitor ourselves. Before posting that caption, picture or quote consider these nine tips.
1. First, ask yourself who will care about this post?
Though social media encourages social sharing, over posting content that your followers have no interest in will eventually lead to a de-friend or an un-follow. This has nothing to do with you personally, but rather about the space being taken up with inapplicable content that person is not interested in.
2. Determine if the post will reflect you positively or negatively.
Avoid posting strong opinions about touchy subjects that you feel might stir up arguments. Although you might be tempted to share your thoughts, creating conflict might end up reflecting poorly on you. Would you want to say this out loud to someone?
3. Consider how others might respond to this content
Personally, I like to ask myself if I would not mind my parents, teachers, boss, friends and family seeing this post. If the answer is yes, then usually that content is safe to post. Tailor messages and posts based on the individual receiving your message and make sure any formal posts come across that way.
4. SPELL CHECK!
Whether it is a tweet, a reply or a private message, read over your spelling and grammar. One of the worst things you can do is decrease your own credibility because of laziness. Be professional and give everyone you communicate with a reason to respect what you write.
5. Determine if your message can be misconstrued.
In order for social media response and activity based around your content, people must first understand you post. Make sure what you want to say is clear.
6. Decide if this post is emotionally based or knowledge/thought-based.
Never post when you are feeling tired, upset or angry. Put down your phone or computer and come back later. Look over what you wanted to post and decide if it is still relevant and important. Take a moment to reflect on your feelings and emotions then come back when you are feeling composed.
7. Don’t post about others without their consent.
This can be tricky, but don’t get in the habit of posting photos with people you do not know or do not have permission from. Avoid using first and last names of others who might not want their personal life on your socials.
8. Understand the platform you are using before posting content.
Rather than posting about your weekend on LinkedIn, research and understand what sites are aimed toward whether that be professional, personal expressiveness or simply for spontaneous posting.
9. Never badmouth a company, a job or a person on social media.
Always remember, someone knows someone everywhere. What you post will come back to bite you if written with bad intention. If you have a disagreement or problem at your job, leave it at the office and off of social media. Plain and simple.
Most importantly, enjoy the benefits social media provides and the various ways we can use it to meet people, make connections, find jobs, explore and express ourselves in a positive light.