We all know that when Facebook first came out, it was only seen as a social network for connecting with friends and family, or sharing silly photos and experiences. All of us saw it as a very personal and private space for sharing. Fast forward to today, and we are aware that everything and anything you post on ANY social channel will affect a Google search — and your public perception.
Even for the novice basement blogger, your personal will become public, and it can be a scary thing, especially from a security standpoint.
Perception Is Reality: Your Online Reality Should Match Your Offline Reality, And Reflect Who You Are, So Be Authentic.
There’s a huge difference between being authentic and being TMI (sharing Too Much Info). Even though social networks can be used for fun and personal postings, more and more businesses and consultants are using it to build their persona online and build their credibility by sharing their knowledge. The difficulty with Facebook is that it’s still considered somewhat personal. Guess what? Everything today is personal – so where’s the line?
Here are a few common things that you may not realize you are doing, but others are noticing:
1. Are you venting about clients/work colleagues/other organizations on your status updates?
Sometimes you may be venting about one very specific situation, but your clients might be reading your update and think it is about them. Even worse, if it isn’t about them, you are making yourself look untrustworthy. We all have problem situations, but do we want others to air our dirty laundry? If you’ve complained on Facebook about one client or friend or family member… who’s next? I sure don’t want to be on that list!
2. Do you take tons of photos of getting drunk or allowing others to tag you in photos that imply you are a party animal?
We all have occasions where we want to let loose with our friends and I really don’t think it’s a big deal to show photos of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day or dinner with wine. I would recommend if you regularly post photos like this, or think it’s okay, then filter your friends list and lock down your privacy settings as tight as possible. A great veteran turned business owner to follow is Travis McVey of Heroes Vodka. He goes to events where he SELLS vodka – but his posts are tasteful, fun and focus on drinking responsibly.
3. Are you ditching work and posting photos of recreation time at the beach?
I think at some point in everyone’s life they are in need of a little sick time, or paid vacation, but calling out sick means your sick, right? Do not forget who your FB friends are, and what you are sharing, and when.
4. Political Posts.
If you have a fairly public profile, and lots of your Facebook friends are actually work colleagues, you may not want to post about a particular candidate or political party. You might end up offending someone you really like and may even want to work with in the future. However, some people WANT others to know their political beliefs because it is part of their core business.
5. Overall tone and attitude.
Taking a quick inventory of al your posts from the last year can give you an idea of how positive or negative you are in your posts. Your FB family can be the source of a new job, new clients or referrals, and positivity attracts. We are all prone to having a bad day, but if EVERY DAY is a bad day, it might be time to think about what you are putting out into the atmosphere. Instead of posting on FB to ease your tension, text or call a friend, meditate or pray about what is troubling you. Any of these things will help you feel better and avoid posting something you may regret later.