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Five Tips to Keep You Professional on Social Media

May 01 2018

lwolf 5 Tips to Keep You Professional on Social MediaRemember, nothing is truly private on the internet. Even if you have your accounts set to private, and only friends can see what you post, you may be at risk. Recently Curt Schilling, a former professional baseball pitcher, winner of three World Series, was fired from ESPN because of a comment he made on Facebook. It wasn't his post. It was his private Facebook intended only for friends.

Well, if you're not a high profile celebrity, you're not at risk, right? Wrong.

Recently, there have been several instances of students being suspended and expelled, and average Joes being fired from their jobs because of their Twitter posts. The following tips will help keep your online presence a positive one.

1. Nothing is truly private.

Remember that whatever you post online is never truly private. Everything can easily be screenshotted and shared. The last thing you want is a private message to be taken the wrong way and shared online with the purpose of making you look bad.

2. If you wouldn't say it in a crowd, don't say it online.

When online, don't say anything you wouldn't say in a group of people. When you think about it, nearly the whole world has access to the internet. There's a lot of things you can say that could offend someone, somewhere. When posting or sending messages online, err on the side of caution. Don't risk being too controversial.

3. You always represent your company.

Even if you are on your own personal account, you are still a representative of your company online. Unfortunately, today, we are almost always "clocked in." Depending on your brokerage and what they want their social media footprint to represent, you might be safer to leave reference of your firm out of your profile. Also, try to stay clear of publicizing your personal opinion on controversial material.

4. Know your audience.

For most of us, our followers or friends on social media are made up of our real life friends, family, clients and colleagues. The latter of these should always be treated professionally regardless of where you interact with them. The last thing anyone wants is to post an inappropriate joke or comment on Twitter or Facebook, only to offend or insult a client or colleague and get an angry phone call the next day. You want to ensure you don't tarnish their professional opinion of you because you choose to post or share something that crosses the line.

5. Don't shy away from your passions.

At this point, it probably feels like you can't do anything on social media anymore, but that's not true. It is important to still use these platforms to have fun, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to post and talk about things you are passionate about. Whatever your interests are, whether it be sports, fashion or even celebrity gossip, engage with your colleagues, friends and clients with things that you care about.

Social media can seem like a scary place, but it is one of the best ways to network with your friends, family, coworkers and clients, past or present. These tips are not all encompassing, but they are good guidelines to keep yourself looking professional and to grow your presence online rather than damage it.

To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blog.