What Not To Do On Any Social Media Site (a top 5)

It always amazes me at what people will write on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Digg.  It also amazes me as to what video they may post on YouTube, Vimeo or Viddler.  Or any other of the hundreds of sites out there.

I don’t think people truly understand and appreciate just how much the interwebs are searchable and that whatever you write will remain linked to you when anyone conducts a search and see what red flags approach.red_flag

Let’s put in a hypothetical situation.  Your manager does a Google or Bing search to see what the members on her team are doing and what comes up.  The first three links on one employee, you, are from Twitter and Facebook.  Upon searching through the tweets or wall posts, there are some negative work remarks.  Nothing intentionally malicious but they were “geez, I wish it was Friday” or “my team is just letting me down” or “I can’t believe the dumb project I was just given”.  Okay, so these may not be exactly what anyone would write but you get the idea.  These aren’t exactly positive to the persons current job and might create some difficult conversations at work.

Here is a short list of what NOT to write online:

  1. Do not write anything negative about your company, job, manager or team.  Keep things professional.  If you need to vent, call your spouse or a friend but don’t write to the world what is driving you crazy at that particular moment.  This won’t reflect well on your current job and probably not well with a future employer.
  2. Stay away from posting anything alcoholic.  The last thing an employer needs to see is when they click on a picture on Twitter to see a beer bottle or martini glass staring right back at them.  Do you want your college pictures coming back to haunt you?  Probably not.  So why would you post these pictures now?
  3. Watch your language.  Many people I know will stop following someone because of their language.  Frankly, it’s just not necessary all the time.  Yes, it is thrown in here and there but when someone does it all the time that is when it gets a little tiring for a lot of your followers and they (may) start to leave you.
  4. Don’t post 10+ items in a row.  If you use a scheduler, then schedule your posts out over a longer period of time.  Nothing is more aggravating than seeing the same avatar fill up either your TweetDeck screen (or similar tool) or Facebook wall with a bot that posts.  Make your posts personal.  There is nothing wrong with using a scheduler, but be more conscious about the times you set the posts to go out.
  5. Don’t sell me your goods.  People are smart and will come to you for a product or service once they trust you.  If you are one of the many people that claim to know the “secret to financial freedom” or “marketing magic” or whatever fools gold they are peddling, we will see right through it.  Be personable, be yourself and be engaging.  Then we will seek you out but not if you are pushing whatever it is you do.

Remember that even if anyone from your company is not following you (or a friend) doesn’t mean they won’t see or search you out online.  With the social networks, the world is truly becoming a smaller place and you won’t be able to hide everything from everyone or anyone.  Use common sense and this will still work really well, maybe even better than you thought social media would!