Daniel Hawksworth┬á – Co Founder & Managing Director of Hawkify
┬áAh, social media ÔÇô you wonderful window into the hearts and minds of all and sundry.
To say that social media has taken over the world is a massive understatement. Millions of us log onto to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more each day to see what our friends have been up to, chat with family members abroad and share funny videos of cats.
ThatÔÇÖs not to mention business focussed networks such as LinkedIn, where professionals can disseminate their CVs and forge contacts that will benefit their careers. Or the many ways in which businesses can use other social media platforms to promote their products/services, parley with customers, run competitions and more.
Social media is huge and the benefits, both personal and professional that can be gained from it are huge as well.
However, social media is not without its inherent risks either. Whether you are a teenager using it to keep in touch with friends, or a professional adult running a business, there is a right way and a wrong way to conduct oneself online.
The power that these networks give a person, in that they have a platform from which to speak to a large audience, can be giddying at first, but it is important to think about the sorts of things that you are sharing with the online world.
Be thankful then that we are here to help you. Whether you are a pro or an amateur user of the networks most social, may we present our list of 5 things that you shouldnÔÇÖt be doing on social media.
This one might not seem so important for your personal accounts, but it always pays to be cautious. You will know for yourself whether your audience will be receptive to crude jokes or graphic images ÔÇô but things such as racial slurs or hate speech are rarely considered acceptable (unless youÔÇÖre a Britain First member maybe).
However, a business page should never be sharing content that alienates or causes offence to people. Your lack of respect and awareness can cause harm to your image that can be almost impossible to repair. Also donÔÇÖt forget that many companies search for the social media accounts of prospective employees ÔÇô so either keep the offensive stuff for private interactions, or make sure that your privacy settings are locked down like Fort Knox.
┬áWhen you have been hurt by another person, your first instinct may be to lash out and shame them on social media. This is always a terrible idea however as you will likely not only ruin any chance of repairing that relationship but also lose respect in the eyes of your other friends.
The irony is that this type of attack is more likely to change how people see you rather than how they see the other person. You will show them that you have a lack of respect for people and a lack of dignity in tough situations; and they are less likely to trust you if they see how you can turn on other people.
My brother is a very talented artist and he talks at great length about what a detriment this can be to creative people. He and his fellow artists have many stories about times when they have discovered their work being printed on t-shirts, posters and the like without any permission, credit or remuneration to the original creators.
It is a doddle to pop onto google and download images and other content to share and use, but you must be cautious if you are using this material in a professional capacity. Copyright infringement is a serious crime that can have serious legal repercussions.
If you need to use images or other content for your blogs etc. then use one of the many great sources of royalty free options that are out there. If you absolutely must use a piece of content that is owned by another, then seek permission before you do. You may find that the owner wonÔÇÖt even charge you for it if you ask, but you are certain to put their nose out of joint if you do not. The old adage of, ÔÇ£better to seek forgiveness than permission,ÔÇØ does not apply here.
┬áGriping About Work
Most people have something negative to say about their job (not me, mineÔÇÖs brilliant, but I hear that some people donÔÇÖt feel that way about theirs). However, save your complaining for when you get home or you are out with your friends.
Not only does publicly declaring your disdain for your employment show a lack of professionalism ÔÇô but you may have colleagues on your friend list who would either be offended by your statement, or would be more than happy to tell someone who would be.
There are better ways to quit your job and, although rare, it can lead to legal action.
┬áToo Much Information
Yeah, we get that you donÔÇÖt want your business to come over as a faceless corporation and that you want your audience to see that you are a human being, but there is a limit.
Far better to focus mainly on business-like content and content that is relevant to the products or services that you offer. If you want to show the human side of your company, then maybe photos of a works activity weekend might be a better option than that week in Magaluf?
There you have it ÔÇô 5 things that you definitely donÔÇÖt want to be doing on social media. Have you ever tumbled into any of these pitfalls with your social media accounts (I know that I have ÔÇô how else do you think that I was able to write this?), or maybe you have a warning that you would like to add to our list?