Wednesday, January 4, 2012
6 Social Media Blunders Freelancers Should Avoid
There’s no doubt about it: social media is the rage.
Everybody who’s anybody is on board. From stay at home moms, to pop icons, to politicians.
Even Donald Trump has his own “virtual” real estate and Twitter profile.
For freelancers, it’s a great way to “make friends and influence people.” Not to mention, to increase exposure exponentially.
But, just like money, it can be good or bad depending upon how it‘s used.
Proper discernment is the key to a “profitable” experience.
Take for instance, accounts of a politician who once garnered “unwanted” attention, by allegedly baring it all in salacious activities over the Internet.
Or who could forget in a “Ripley’s-believe-it-or-not moment,” the woman who was identified and subsequently arrested for posting pictures of shoplifted merchandise to her FaceBook page?
Horror stories abound.
With this in mind, here are six sins to avoid, in the interest of reputation management and career maintenance:
1. Being too free with your “freedom of speech” rights.
Think before you comment. Things spouted in anger over the Internet, verbal warfare, and kiss and tell chronicles have a way of hunting and hurting you for years to come. Choose your words wisely.
2. Mixing business with pleasure.
Unless you impose certain privacy settings on your accounts, consider that anybody in the general public can view your activities-- daily, weekly, monthly. This includes potential clients, colleagues, and competitors. Would you want them all to know equally about your private life with your live-in lover? Your “happy hour” escapades? Or perhaps dysfunctional family dynamics? Exercise prudence here.
3. Posing for provocative pictures.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but all it takes is the wrong one to undermine your professionalism and send the wrong message. You may want to make sure that your “Kodak Moments” are P-G rated. :-)
4. Being too “public” with private information.
Things like your home address, your home number, complete birthday, credit card info, and financial status. Why? Because identity theft is rampant, and you want to err on the side of caution. According to Spendonlife.com, there were 10 million people affected by Identity Theft in 2008.
5. Using profanity.
Not everyone is liberal-minded or accepting of this. To some it’s even offensive.
6. Bad-mouthing clients in public forums and bulletin boards.
It’s okay to do your “garden-variety” gripe a little, or to present a situation that has been problematic in order to solicit support and needed answers. But, never use specific info, or violate a client privilege. The world is smaller than you think!
When social media is used wisely, it can work wonders. Just make sure that your “15 minutes of fame” reflects positively on you and your career. Making good decisions makes good business sense, and ultimately means greater earning potential and longevity in years to come.
IMAGE Stock Photo