Social media isn’t going anywhere, so the company needs to make use of it. While you may not be anxious to get yourself out there in a personal way, social platforms can be effective drivers for professional development and business growth.
Simply put, no matter what context or level of experience you have with social media, there’s no better time to dive in. While this may be a bit hyperbolic, it’s important to be aware of the risks that certain acts take when using social media.
1. Share Too Much Information
Some things are better left unsaid. As a rule of thumb, people you’re looking to engage with professionally online do not need to know your physiological functions, your embarrassing moments, or your lengthy daily recap. For both business and personal accounts, it should go without saying that proprietary information should never be shared online with a public audience.
2. Flat-Out Lie
Don’t risk your professional reputation (or that of your business) by sharing false, misleading, or refutable information online. A good guideline is to share factual information for which you have supporting data or professional viewpoints and predictions with disclosure on your perspective. Being honest about your achievements and knowledge base will help you build a trustworthy, leader persona within your professional network.
3. Share Your Strong Opinions
If you’re looking to build a professional audience, it’s best to leave certain subjects out of your conversations. With so much valuable content and ideas to exchange, there are much more productive ways to grow an audience. Leave tendentious topics to discuss with trusted family and friends offline.
When contributing to the mass of content on social media as a business professional, we generally want to influence others by sharing something valuable, relevant, and non-offensive.
4. Forget Grammar Check
Proper grammar and sentence structure ensures that your content comes across as professional, polished, and considered. Make a mistake? Edit, delete, and/or re-post if appropriate. Be attentive to detail in general to avoid silly mishaps.
5. Neglect Current Events
Social media moves a million miles an hour, and commenting on something that (A) you are not well informed on or (B) you haven’t researched can come across as ignorant or insensitive to news and important issues. Bottom line: only comment on a current event if you feel it is necessary for your professional well-being and will be valued by your online community. When in doubt, leave politics entirely out of the equation.
6. Be Tone-Deaf
Relative to neglecting current event research, coming across as “tone-deaf” (not being empathetic to a situation and speaking on it inappropriately) can be as simple as not checking a trending hashtag before using it for commercial promotions.