Image by: César Astudillo
By Alexa Hughes
Staying connected is easy, but keeping your social platforms professional is not. Here are some of the things you should know about the visibility of your content and how to keep it appropriate no matter who is watching.
#1) Know that Anyone Can See It
Pretty much anything that is shared online can be viewed by anyone, sometimes even if people are not logged into a social media site. Then people can screenshot your information and photos, which saves it forever even if it has been deleted for some reason. In general you want people looking at your social media so the exposure is great, but it is a reason to keep in mind that your audience can go beyond who you originally intended.
#2) Keep Your Personal Content Separate
With so many different social platforms out there you might be tempted to just bundle your business accounts with your personal ones, but this is not generally a good idea. The only time that this works well is if your brand somehow revolves around you and you’re willing to forgo posting anything personal that might not blend well with your professional persona. Otherwise you should keep the content separate and keep your personal accounts private if you’re planning to post anything that could potentially jeopardize your career.
#3) Hire Social Media Managers that You Trust
If you are having other people tend to some of your social media for you, make sure that they have a proven track record at the job and take your business very seriously. Occasionally people accidentally post things on social media that were meant to be sent as private messages or something like that, which could be a huge issue on a work account. Try to avoid those kinds of slip ups as much as possible.
#4) Don’t Weigh In On Heavy Topics
You might have your own personal opinions about religion, politics, the president, gun control, etc, but a business account is not the place to align yourself with one side of any equation. You risk alienating certain customers and getting attention for the wrong reasons. Anything that doesn’t have to do with your business or immediate work environment is not necessary, unless it is something neutral like supporting a local business or charity.
Additionally, pretty much anything that could be considered scandalous is not generally the right content for professional social media accounts. Speak to adults, but with the knowledge that there might be children around as well.
#5) Report Trolling
If people are posting spam or hurtful comments on your social media accounts it is best to simply report them and avoid getting involved in any discussions that might go nowhere quick. Those people are just looking for trouble and you should never give it to them by engaging in their drama. Anything truly offensive that is posted can be deleted to make your social media more family friendly, but do not delete comments that are normal customer interaction.
Sometimes when people have an issue with a product or service they will attempt to reach out via social media. The best thing to do in that circumstance is to ask them to contact you directly so that you can right the situation in private and not under the prying eyes of everyone else viewing your social media count. It might be helpful to put a contact email in the bio area of each account so that it’s easy for people to contact you if they don’t want to take the time to visit your website.
#6) Don’t Share Too Much Personal Information
Another reason to keep your accounts separate is that you might not want your customers or clients to know too much about you, even if you are the face of the brand. For example, it’s great if they can put a friendly face to the company, but they don’t need to know which restaurant you dine at every Friday night or what school your kids go to. We like to think that people are good and in general they are, but that doesn’t mean we need them in our personal business!
Do you have professional social media accounts that you find hard to keep appropriate? Do you follow any of these tips or have any other ideas to share? We’d love to hear your opinions!