Engaging online through social media has become a necessary evil for keeping an open line of communication for your business and/or personal life. We’ve all heard of stories of people and businesses sharing too much inside information over the Internet and how many major enterprises have experienced serious flubs in their brand’s communication. As powerful as social media is, it’s important to stay alert because it is your digital legacy that will be archived forever.
Qualman states, “In the digital world, your public life and private life have become one.” Keeping that in mind it is critical to look at how we write and think online, in business and in life.
1. Before you Write, Think
Be wise with what you choose to share because it will follow you everywhere. Test it by asking yourself, “Would I say this if the person was sitting across the table from me?” Don’t over post; be inconsistent, but not boring. Express yourself in clear, simple terms. Curate what is important. This virtue rings true when you’re looking for a new career path or are looking to build a new relationship with a prospect client or vendor.
2. Before you Reply in Anger or Sarcasm, Plan
Don’t get angry and reply hastily to any messages or status updates, but do take time out to think about the problem and clarify your position. Before you speak out, be clear about what the real issue is, what you want to accomplish, and how to maximize the chances you will be heard. Fans and followers will garner more respect for you and your brand when you act rationally.
3. Before you Complain and Criticize, Understand
The primary reason that we complain about something is because we feel insecure or powerless. How many times have you heard the expression, “Be a part of the solution, rather than the problem”? Complaining can be toxic and lead to a downward spiral in an organization or in one’s personal life. Get to the root of it and create positive action.
4. Before you Worry about your Reputation, Focus on your Integrity
Your reputation is the public perception of who you are, while your integrity represents the things you’re doing right, even when no one is watching. Bring attention to your business’ mission and philosophies before putting too much attention on what people will think of you.
5. Before you Quit, Try
Everyone using social media is still implementing an investigative approach. Social Media is still in its infancy and has only been widely adopted in the past two years. Make mistakes, fix them, and move on. But, do not quit. The digital era is here to stay and you have the opportunity to become a leader for your causes, family and work.