The age of social media has made groundbreaking impact on our society and totally revolutionized the way that we do things. Let’s face it, the first thing that most of us do each morning is check our profiles for overnight notifications and the latest happenings of the day. In contrast, we find ourselves sharing everything from motivational memes to date night selfies to what we ate for lunch.
It’s very interesting to see the changes in how we use social media since Facebook was founded more than a decade ago. What was first a casual way to connect with peers has become a revolutionary tool in personal branding and business. Now, our social media profiles can be strategically leveraged to grow our brands as well as to create foundational connections between clients and colleagues.
We all are brands, whether we realize it or not, so image and reputation management online is essential to influencing the perceptions that are used to define us. The big question: Is social media working for you or against you? Below are 10 things to avoid with your social media use:
1. Lack of quality imagery
Because we are visual beings, we subconsciously form judgments and make assumptions almost immediately upon coming into contact with someone – it’s just human nature! Your packaging should always be just as good as your substance, so as not to do your brand a disservice. Invest in quality graphic design, leverage D.I.Y. apps such as FontCandy+ and WordSwag, or simply take photographs in natural lighting to achieve a polished look. As a rule of thumb, if the imagery is not high quality, don’t post it.
2. Spelling errors and grammatically incorrect wording
This is by far one of the biggest deal breakers. Take pride in your presentation by proofreading carefully. If writing is not one of your strengths, hiring a writer to effectively communicate your brand message will prove to be a worthy investment.
3. Content that is not consistent with your brand message and core values
It takes a lot of time to build a brand, but only a moment to destroy it. Every post is a reflection of you. Sharing anything that is conflicting with your brand’s core values and message could be damaging in the long run.
4. Too much “salesy” content
This is especially critical for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Profiles should not be used to fulfill the purposes of a website through aggressive sales pitches. The proper use of social media is to generate brand awareness and lead traffic to your company’s website for interested parties to take further action. Businesses can maximize their social influence by sharing their story in unique ways and creating value for their audience.