In today’s world of live tweeting and trending hashtags, a woman with a professional career doesn’t just have to worry about managing her reputation in the real world, but on her social media accounts as well. Social networking can be a powerful tool to gain and maintain connections, but with the potential to instantly expose yourself via your posts, the question we might be asking ourselves is: how much is too much? Just because you have a budding career doesn’t mean you need to delete your accounts or refrain from sharing your personal interests, in fact social media is an amazing platform to express your views and display your work, but remember that once you post something online it’s there forever (don’t forget about screen shots). It’s not like Social Media 101 was a college pre-req, so we put together a list of social media mistakes to reference before each post. Be sure you’re not making these social media faux pas and you’ll be good to go!
A BAD BIO
Ever wonder how important that little bio section on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram really is? Well, it’s very important. It’s usually the first things that other users look at before they decide to follow or engage with you. This might sound obvious, but be sure to include what you do and where you’re located, these two critical pieces of information are often overlooked. In order to make yourself memorable, also add an interesting fact about yourself, like that you’re training for a marathon or make the world’s best pizza. Also, please limit emojis because they tend to come across as juvenile.
A DESERTED PAGE
We know, we know, you’re busy, but depending on your profession, it’s important to at least have LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (if you work in a creative profession Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are important outlets to express your taste level as well) and keep up with them by posting regularly. You never know when someone might be researching you in order to connect, and if they stumble across your Twitter that hasn’t been updated in months, you may come across as out-of-date and thoughtless about your image. Keep up with your social pages by updating at least once a week, even if it’s just sharing an interesting article or post. Don’t abandon your social pages, and with the option of downloading apps and connection accounts, a busy schedule is no excuse.
NOT KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CONTACTS
With the open communication that social media makes available to us, we are more connected than ever. Utilize social media in order to maintain connections. In many professions, it’s not uncommon to constantly make new contacts from other companies at conferences and events, or better yet, in your personal life. It’s always better to do business with someone that you already have a relationship, so keep in touch with your contacts via your social media. Even if it’s just liking or leaving short comments, it’s an easy tactic to keep connected so that you’re able to utilize your network later. Also, adding additional insight to a topic within your field shows off your knowledge about the content being shared, and is another great way to promote yourself professionally.
POSTING ABOUT HOT-BUTTON ISSUES
Social media is not your diary. The status bar is not meant for long rants or personal opinions that might be considered offensive. This shows that you don’t realize the boundaries between professional and personal privacy, which is not a good quality in the work place. Women in particular need to maintain a strong and stable mentality when disclosing thoughts and opinions on social platforms in order to steer away from the “too emotional” stereotype that’s associated with our sex. Remember that old rule of not bringing up politics or religion over dinner? Think of your social network as one big dinner party. We’re not saying don’t express you personal view points, but remember that there is no usefulness in offending individuals in your social network with provocative statements. If there is a social or political issue you would like to comment on, try to keep your posts positive and focus on the answer not the problem. You will not only build your reputation for being able to resolve problems, but this will increase the odds that others will take your opinion into consideration.
OVEREXPOSING YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
Showing off an occasional pretty cocktail tagged at a trendy spot or a glass of wine with dinner is understandable, but unless you work in the nightlife industry, you shouldn’t expose to your co-workers (and potentially your boss) how wild you got at your sister’s bachelorette party. This also opens up the opportunity for a sorority sister to write something inappropriate on your social pages or post a photo of you that you wouldn’t want exposed to professional colleagues. For example, if you share comedy related posts from Buzzfeed, people will share other comedy related posts with you. The same goes for party pictures and articles, so we recommend keeping these to a minimum. Use Snapchat or direct message options for more outrageous posts instead.