Being a fall intern here at D + P has opened my eyes to the world of corporate social media. Recently, I was invited to sit in on a company session about LinkedIn networking and profile optimization – everything from listing skill sets to selecting a photo, and what it says about you – and it got me thinking…
Everyone knows that you should display your best image on social media – update your resume, connect with coworkers and be the professional that you are. But each day as I’m scrolling through my news feeds, I come across inappropriate posts. I have to wonder whether my “friends” understand that what they are saying has repercussions and staying power.
Take your pick of stories where jobs have been lost, employment denied, students expelled and law enforcement notified due to social media mishaps. Remember the U.S. Senate staffer who was forced to resign after a Twitter rant riddled with profanity, attacking a war hero and gay marriage? And personal profiles aren’t the only ones under scrutiny. Companies that post sales too close to tragic national stories like Super Storm Sandy and others can be on the receiving end of public backlash if their timing or gesture is deemed insensitive. Hitting the “delete” button doesn’t always undo the damage. One screenshot from a friend or follower can turn your fleeting thought into a permanent problem.
Don’t get me wrong – social media is an amazing platform for speaking your mind and reaching your customers. Debate, and even good humor about an opposing opinion, has its place online. Just remember to think twice about what you’re about to share and proof before you post, because the World Wide Web never forgets!