Social media is not very social. Keep that in mind when you make your next comment, rant, complaint or quip.
See, while the social media world changes and evolves rapidly, your comments do not. Once published, it assumes its own life.
In fact, it sometimes takes an expensive court injunction to remove them. But this can create another problem. By going to court, you will get more people curious. There is also nothing stopping people from actually screen-capturing and sharing your posts anonymously. The latter is often the way that social media ransomware works.
In the past, when you attended parties or social gatherings, you were usually careful about what you said in a public or a semi-public forum. Often it is a persona you want to create and portray. What you say to your friends is often kept among friends, unless one is a snitch.
Not on social media. Snitches are everywhere and anonymous. Even if you are talking to your best friend, often the platform will make those comments searchable and available. It’s the reason that when parents started joining Facebook, their kids joined other platforms. It is also the reason why platforms like SnapChat have become so popular, because your messages have no permanence, making it quite difficult for advertisers to do messaging.
What can you do? The best advice is prevention. Consider the following steps:
- Search your own reputationWe are all busy individuals. But unfortunately, if you have had exposure on social media, you need to take care of your reputation. This has become especially important as search engines like Google have made it even easier to search for social media posts. Keep a close eye on your name and business name by searching for it. No time? Then employ a PR professional to do it for you.
- Filter your social media postsThis is especially important as your profile becomes more public. Realize that even an innocent comment can be taken out of context. There are several ways to delete social media posts, so do that before people screen capture those posts and gain an advantage over you.
- Filter your imagesDitto for pictures as well.
- Beware and be aware of Dark SocialChat programs are the worst culprits. There is literally nothing that you can do if your rival decides to share a link or screen captured post via Whatsapp or Messenger. The fact that these are not searchable (yet) makes them more dangerous and may blindside you. Although you can’t really stop these, remember it when you post something out of turn over social media.
The above four steps may sound obvious, but it can be amazing how many times people seem to get caught unaware. For younger employees, who have grown up in a Facebook world where it is cool (and normal) to share everything, it may be important to re-educate them on the potential dangers.
So what happens if you did NOT do the above, and have been caught off guard? Stay tuned for the next post.