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Think Before You Post: Is It Appropriate for Your Professional Account?

In today’s day and age, one in four people across the world has some type of social networking account. It only takes a matter of seconds to make an account on sites like Facebook or Twitter. Anyone and everyone can make an account, which is why it is a useful tool for companies such as McDonald’s or Home Depot to interact with new and old customers.

One thing you want to take note of is keeping your social networking accounts separate. What you say on your personal accounts may be different from the image you want to send from your professional accounts. You must be able to tell the difference and appropriate time to use each. Here are a few things that you must always consider when posting on your social networks.

PWho’s Your Audience?

Who exactly are you talking too? Sometimes we tend to forget who we have in our social networking circles. As you gain followers on Twitter, you may forget about your auntie who followed you back when you only had 15 followers. Now that you have thousands of followers, blends into the many other followers that come across your timeline on a daily basis. Remember to take that into consideration when you tweet about things like, “Thinking about skipping out on my family vacation this year, I’d rather be drinking in the Bahamas” or rant about how much your mother annoys you.

Brands have to watch out when balancing the professional and personal. The Atlanta Braves made news last week for taking a dig at Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper:

It sparked a debate about whether this comment was too personal for a professional account.

Sensitive Subjects Can Come Back to Bite You

Remember: your thoughts on one topic may differ from your audience’s opinions. For example, you may be ecstatic that Barak Obama was voted to be the President of the United States, but not all your friends may not. Or you may feel a certain way about the rulings for the recent Trayvon Martin trial. If you’re looking to use your professional account to build your network and gain leads, posts that vent your frustrations will send the wrong impression to others.

Once It’s Posted Online, it’s there…Forever

We often post comments images and later decide that it’s best to delete it. Sure, it may be deleted from our profile or timeline, but it’s never deleted from the Internet. Whether it’s by screenshot or a shared post the post, once something is posted it is posted for life. There are actually sites such as WayBack Machine, whose purpose is to go back in time and show you previous versions of a website.

KTVU in San Francisco recently tried to remove content from YouTube of anchors reading incorrect and racist names of pilots from Asiana Flight 214 that crashed last month. Even if they successfully were able to take down the YouTube videos, the articles and news coverage of the blunder will remain on the Internet forever.

pilots2What Would A Potential Boss Say?

Hiring managers will go through their potential employees’ social media profiles to get a better understanding on what type of worker and person they are. If you are applying to work for a big name business firm, the odds of them hiring an employee whose every other word on Facebook is a curse word, is quite low.

Employers are able to see multiple social media accounts, so playing Jekyll and Hyde with your professional and personal profiles will only raise red flags about what you’re hiding.

Think Before You Post

Whether you’re posting on your personal account your professional one, remember who is reading: your auntie, your future boss, your potential leads. Is it appropriate?

About the author

Jarrod Anderson