Well here we are at the start a New Year, and for many of us it’s time to make those resolutions that only 8 % of us keep. So maybe this year we should make a resolution regarding our digital self ? Maybe its time for a virtual makeover or make under: a tad more savvy perhaps or disciplined approach to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms.
Today 73% of online U.S. adults are active (addicted to over-sharing) on social media, according to a new Pew survey. This could have a bigger impact on your life, career and social standing than cleaning out that overstuffed closet or trying to make it to that spin class.The following are some suggestions, i.e., better choices for Social Media use in 2014.
#1 Think Twice before you post, tweet or instagram.
OK, this one may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many otherwise smart people blast out thoughts on Twitter without pausing to consider the risk and perhaps sheer stupidity of what they’re saying. Case in point: the Steve Martin Grammar Game fiasco , then there was Justine Sacco, the PR executive who posted this on Twitter this month before boarding a flight to South Africa: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” The tweet went viral while her plane was in the air, and she was fired soon after. It takes only a few seconds to compose a dumb tweet or post that cringe-worthy pic. The damage can last much longer.
# 2 Use Common Sense: Fact-check first.
No, Morgan Freeman did not die, but you wouldn’t know that from all the breathless posts on Facebook and Twitter that lite up no sooner than someone posted a photo with his date of birth and then his reported death. It went viral, some major news outlets even joined in the frenzy. Then there are the fake Facebook posts, offering cheap airfare or free iPads, that try to scam you with malicious links Social media can spread misinformation as fast as truths. You could just use good old common sense or Snopes.com is a excellent source for debunking these rumors and or offers. Special note to SEO managers you will lose credibility quickly and erode your clout.
Yes, “selfie” is the word of the year for 2013. Sure selfies can be fun to look at when the person is 1) wearing a costume, 2) photo-bombing with or by a celebrity, or 3) standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. All three simultaneously would be impressive. Caution alert ! No one needs to see another “duck face” and or a very unflattering pose in front of a dressing room mirror as you are trying on those overpriced yoga pants (guilty). Social media can be narcissistic enough and by nature we are a society of zelist oversharers. Many employers regularly check social media and nothing says don’t promote or hire faster than a “red solo cup” picture in a compromising position to kill the deal for many. Like Ron Burgundy say’s keep it classy!
# 4 The Foodie. (Guilty again)
Sure, you have waited 3 months for a table at that highly coveted restaurant and the food is magnificent, but interrupting your dinner to Instagram each plate is rude to your dining companions, not to mention a tad obnoxious for other people sitting nearby who have to endure your camera flashes and asking “which filter looks better” questions. Stop climbing up on your chairs to get that better camera angle just say no! May I suggest limiting your food pics to special occasions and or for that famous 99 ounce steak eating event that you must finish to earn the free dinner or T-shirt.
#5 Tagging others.
For most of us the use of the word tagging is a form of graffiti, but in todays social media world it’s letting others know that they are with you. Nothing says you’re my BFF like someone tagging you in a party pic when you’ve called in sick or hey, I know your eyes are closed, your stomach is sticking out and your tongue is caressing a bottle of tequila, but it’s hilarious, right! Right? Wrong oh so wrong! Use common sense again, be sure to ask permission before posting photos of people online think twice before you share.
#6 Less is More.
As my Grandmother always told me “less is more”. We all love to create and share artfully renderings of an Instagram photo of our kid, cat or dog and our snowy backyard but one posting will do it, not a dozen photos in an hour. This can be applied to rapid-fire tweeting or constant Facebook updates. Unless you’re live-blogging from a Tsunami or the Academy Awards don’t overwhelm your friends’ feeds!
#7 Be aware of your personal brand.
Social Media experts we will tell you “how to build your personal brand” It’s very true that one tweet or photo can cause some angst to some, but for most it’s just going to leave you a little embarrassed and learning how to quickly delete and remove your digital footprint. The world of communication hasn’t really changed — it’s just shifted to a faster pace, and staying in touch via social media can be a good thing. Try to be that person who you would enjoy having a drink with at that cocktail party or a quick cup of coffee with between meetings. If you’re using social media only to collect likes and followers, you should really rethink those knee-jerk Twitter rants or Vines of yourself running down the street in just your boots!
Wishing everyone a great New Year and remember “Stay Classy” or at least “think-twice” and cheers to keeping at least one resolution in 2014.