An article I read written by Sarah Evans describes what social media users in the business world should and should not do in order to maintain a well respected online presence.
When professional individuals use social networking sites like twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flckr, they must keep in mind that they are not only branding themselves, but their businesses as well. The first tip given is to be transparent and human. People want to be able to relate to you. I think we’ve heard this a lot in class…everything is leaning towards personalization, because that’s what most people find appealing. That being said, you can be transparent and human without airing your dirty laundry online. This can cross the line from being a relatable human being, to just making people uncomfortable. We have been told time and time again, not to post any information online that we would not want to broadcast to the world for all eternity. Surprisingly , I still see people post incriminating or inappropriate pictures and status updates from time to time. Even if it does not matter to you now, it most likely will matter when you’re a professional and want and need people’s respect.
The second tip deals with consistency. You do not want to have a professional looking profile picture on one website and a ridiculous, goofy picture on another. If you are trying to brand yourself for business purposes, it will only confuse people. People don’t like to be confused. They like to feel that they know and understand the person or website they are getting their information from. Evans urges us not to brand our personalities for the day, week, or month. The way you brand yourself is your legacy. Things are archived these days and what you post will be around for a long, long time regardless of whether you remove it from your page. Besides, as mentioned earlier, Evans says multiple perosnalities do not work well on the web.
For more of Evans’ tips and to read the entire article, click here.