Social media can be a flippant place, so much so that you may never pay any mind towards what you are saying or doing. Of course, if it is used in any professional way, you know some rough outlines of what to do and what not to do, but outside of that, how bad could a social media faux pas be?
Very bad. Very bad indeed.
Some huge corporations have seen massive backslash from a simple slip-up. So if you use your social media accounts for anything related to your career, there are some habits you should get into to help avoid any problems.
Scan for swearing
You may have decided that your social media account has some worth career wise, and at the very least should be clear of anything problematic in the recent past should employers come looking. But some employers may not stop at the surface, and will look thoroughly through your history.
Employers could use social media sweepers, which will scan for any bad language, or questionable content. To counteract that, you’ll want to beat them to the punch. Make it a habit to scan through content searching for these bad words and content, and delete or edit them accordingly.
Tweeting from a corporate account
There have been a number of incidents wherein a corporate social media manager has gone to post something onto their personal account, only to find that they are still logged on to their business account. As people tend to take their guard down on their own accounts, it can lead to some bizarre and potentially ruinous posts.
The way around this is to have only a handful of dedicated places from which you are logged in to the business account, and nothing else, and vice versa. This way, you bring the chances of crossing the two to a bare minimum.
This is two fold. Lets say you see the hashtag #OnFire trending, and jump on it quickly by saying “Our company’s Spring range is #OnFire !” Harmless, right? Not if #OnFire is trending because of a large building fire.
Similarly, when generating your own hashtag, make sure it can’t be misinterpreted. For her new album’s launch, the social media team promoting the singer Susan Boyle wanted to invite Twitter users to an album launch party. However, it is very easy to misinterpret #SusanAlbumParty (we’ll let your imagination do the work), and pranksters had a field day.
In conclusion- do some research, and proofread everything.
Online mischief-makers, or trolls as they are known, are always trying to trip up famous social media accounts. It will seem harmless enough – “Please retweet this picture of my Dad, he has always supported you” – but upon further inspection, the image is of a convicted criminal or something along those lines. Again, research and common sense will go a long way here.
Finally, before tweeting anything relating to a certain event, make sure you are doing so in a dignified, sensitive manner. It might seem necessary to jump on any bandwagon, but if you look like a business trying to piggyback off of something tragic, it can backfire massively. The American company Spaghettios tweeted a message in support of remembering those who died at Pearl Harbour – with a picture of their smiling spaghetti hoop with an American flag. Safe to say, it didn’t go down well.
Put these habits into practice, and you’ll avoid a lot of headaches, for both yourself and your company.