I am by far no expert on what to post or better yet, what not to post on social media sites, but reading all the commentary on Ms. Lauten’s facebook post regarding the President’s daughters I can’t help but take a few things away from what should be a learning experience for all of us.
I have personal social media sites, pick one: facebook, linkedin, twitter, instagram, google+ etc, but I also have similar number of social media sites for our Chamber and events within the Chamber. I post work and family stuff on my personal sites and I tend to let people know that if you are facebook friends with on other side of the friendship you may get tons of Chamber information that I’m proud of sharing, but also tons of family photos, especially, my kids. I also note, you will never get that photo of me dancing on the bar and throwing back a few bottles either. (I’m fairly certain those photos don’t exist).
My personal social media sites represent my image. That’s the image I want to reflect to outside world of who I am. That doesn’t mean I hold stuff back and it’s not a true, genuine representation of myself, because for those that know me, would say it probably is a good reflection of me. However, I probably rarely jump of the rooftop with my comments, photos etc. Knowing that as the President of the Chamber, those posts could encourage or discourage a potential business in joining or renewing their membership. I have colleagues who will not share this thought, but, I am Facebook friends with any Chamber Member or business person in our area as long as I do have some knowledge of you or your business. Same thing on LinkedIn, if we share 500 connections more than likely, I’ll connect with you. It is my own way of showing transparency and at the end of the day, people do business with people, so my people need to know me personally and professionally.
If I am being truly transparent, I occasionally slip up, write a post, make a statement and then have that 10 second thought…maybe not. If there is ever a hesitation in what you post, error on the side of caution and don’t post it. If you have no filter at all with your posts, ask a friend who will give you honest feedback.
Social media is a strong force to be reckon with, pick a hot news story and watch a quick, painful death. Social media can also be the strong force of good to come such as the ALS challenge or Pay It Forward initiatives . Ultimately you have control of your social voice and remember our childhood nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never kill me.” I beg to differ, in today’s modern age, words can kill you.