Don’t Be Messy – 6 Social Media Pitfalls to Avoid

If you have a social media profile, you have an audience. How big or small your audience is depends on how often you engage, interact and acquire new viewers. Nevertheless, to receive the desired response from your audience, be intentional each time you pose a question, make statement or give a compliment.

Make note, interactions in the digital world of social media can leave dirty tracks back into the real world. What you post on your personal social media networks can easily tarnish your professional reputation.

Trivia Question: Once a person takes interest in you, how long does it take before they try to find you on the internet?

Answer: As fast as they can whip out their Google enabled smartphone.

People want to know if they like you, can they work with you and could they relate to you. It’s in human nature to classify and categorize people, places and things based on like and dislike.

If you want to build a strong online, presence adding to your professional and personal credibility then please avoid these 6 social media pitfalls:

  1. Being Inconsistent

If you have more than one Public Profile across different social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), is the content you share similar or drastically different? What about your personal Bio, have you taken time to create an introduction about yourself and what readers could expect from visiting your social media page?

Your personality, character and personal values should echo throughout your profiles in the digital world. Take control and create a clear vision about the perception you want to convey about yourself. This will allow you to post meaningful content that is relevant to your purpose and immediately decide what content you will or will not share on your page. If you know your core beliefs and understand yourself well, like-minded people would gravitate to you in seek of knowledge and confirmation about themselves and their ideas.

  1. Ranting

In your personal life, if you have a problem and need to rant about it please DO NOT vent it out on Social media. Even if you are venting within a private group and only a select few can see your posted comments. Using Facebook or Twitter as an outlet for your frustration could cause irreparable damages to your reputation.

How, you ask? Two ways: first, not everyone will understand nor care about your bitter and unraveling display of emotions. Secondly, you will unintentionally invite rude comments and destructive feedback. Okay, I know I said two reasons, but I just thought of third reason. Anyone can screenshot your mean spirited words and share them with any and every person on social media.

If you’re looking for confirmation proving that your feelings are justified, then you must be intentional about how you vent. By intentional, I mean explaining the issue that has upset you. Then pose a question that warrants knowledgeable and constructive feedback. By asking for input from you social media audience you could still vent, but at least now your audience can actively vent with you by sharing their own similar experiences.

Letting It Leak!

Rule of thumb: try to limit whom you party and share personal information with to your trusted inner circle only. If you don’t want questionable and embarrassing photos, videos and text messages about you spilling onto social media channels, then you must be very selective about who are present at these vulnerable moments.

Be sure to have a discussion and understanding with your entourage about what they can and cannot share regarding you on social media. I urge you to have this talk sooner rather than later after you’ve seen a picture of you on Instagram sliding down…

  1. Touching on Touchy Topics

Question: would you tell everyone all the creepy, goofy and dirty thoughts that race through your mind? If you’re a reasonably sane person, the answer would be “NO”.

Guilt by association is what will happen if you click the “share” “Like” or “Retweet” button on posts that state views or jokes about religion, sex, political issues, race, etc. Do not chime in even if you think someone has a few good points, but totally disagree with the rest of the comment or post.

Many people, including myself are skimmers. Meaning we only skim through blog, article or post until we find something that is interesting or relevant. Unfortunately, skim reading also causes readers to take things out of context. This leaves the doors wide open for warped opinions and interpretations.

To avoid being negatively labeled or categorized which can affect our reputation, our ability to attract clients or lose major contracts before we even knew it existed, view but do not comment on touchy topics.

Closing Thoughts

Social media is quickly turning our world into a “Research first, ask directly later” world. People like familiarity, and if the person you present to them in real life is not consistent with your digital life, they will not take you or your business seriously.