How to avoid accidental social media disasters

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Do you have an active social media life? If the answer is a ‘Yes’ you need to be reading this post.

Post the ‘Weinergate’ incident, when an accidental tweet with an obscene photo that should have been made via direct message to an on-line girlfriend went public on Rep. Weiner’s timeline forcing his resignation, it is time to list out ways to avoid such social media disasters.

Armed with Android smartphones and numerous social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter is by itself a challenging situation. So you have your personal Twitter and Facebook account, and your companies’/clients’ both on a computer and sometimes even on your smartphone. Juggling these daily is daunting to say the least.

The other aspect is your own social life and how you conduct yourself in social circles, what pictures you post on Twitter and Facebook and so on. Ask around and you’re sure to know quite a number of people who have suffered the ‘Freudian slip‘ or in this case the ‘Freudian click’ sending the wrong message to an ex-flame/spouse. You end up dealing with not just the horror of such a predicament but also the sinking feeling that it could have been easily avoided.

Here’s how you can avoid accidental social media disasters:

1. Always have multiple browsers for handling personal and professional social media accounts. This is by far is the simplest way to sort things out in your head before you post both professional and personal status messages. So, having IE, Chrome, Safari and Firefox for different purposes is adding order to the chaos.

2. Applications like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Seesmic and others all provide quick social media posts from multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts. So, using a particular application for professional use and another for personal is the way to go.

3. Direct messages on Twitter or Facebook messages may seem private, but never forget that nothing on the internet is really private.

4. Be funny but remember the virtual world is full of real people and this includes your friends, family, professional acquaintances, co-workers and other plain nosey people. And there are a few things that should not be shared on Facebook and Twitter.

5. If you are a politician or celebrity, the personal and the professional blur – the social media world may have a lot of bots but there are real people out there, so behave as you would in the real world.

6. After writing out a post or attaching a photo make sure to read it again and checking that its leaving from the right account before hitting ‘send’.

7. Posting from smartphones both in a professional and personal capacity is not good idea. Period. Unless you have two smartphones, which again is just a disaster waiting to happen.

So well accidents happen online all the time and some people pay a heavy price as online reputation is there for all to see and every action you take in the virtual world leaves a trail for someone to dig it all up again.


Posted on: June 29, 2011 By:



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