Think twice before posting

Our parents always told us to look both ways before crossing the street. I wonder if the new generations are hearing “Think twice before posting.” This class, coupled with my summer experience solidified how important it is to really think before you post and have a strategy. Many people post the same status update as they do a tweet. This is not a good utilization of the tools.

This class has offered a unique perspective on social media. After having worked in social media and being an avid Facebook and Twitter user, I appreciate learning more. Over the summer, I worked on the social media strategy for a Fortune 100 company and was fully focused on Facebook. There is a LOT of strategy behind social media, which I learned after wondering why Twitter was happening after Facebook. You have different audiences, feasibly on Facebook as you do Twitter. Some people and companies think about this. However, others see social media as a blanket term.

A company needs to meet its consumer where they are. Given that there are people on Facebook and Twitter, it’s a disadvantage to most companies if they choose not to engage on those forms of social media.

Personally, I have enjoyed understanding more about how people interact online. The discussions about snapchat versus instagram have been robust. Essentially, snapchat is one function different from instagram and because of this, is all the rage and a large trend right now.

Another learning is about the pace of social media and technology: everything moves so fast. I wanted to say, when my children take a social media class, but I found myself stop. Social media will continue to exist but it will become like the internet. The internet is a matter of fact. People study communication on it and how it evolves, but the internet enabled more. Social media was that more. Social media is becoming extremely mainstream, everyone is using it. This makes me wonder, what’s next? What will we layer on top of social media?

Going back to the title of the post “Think twice before posting” the biggest key takeaway is that. Whatever is posted lives on forever. If you’re overly emotional, it’s not the best plan to go posting your emotions on the Internet. If you are angry at an employer, it’s probably not the best plan to go posting about that. Over the course of the semester, we heard about people becoming famous for outbursts like that. But is that what you want your legacy to be?

Thinking twice is not just about what to post but where to post it. Does it fit with your personal brand? Do you want whatever you post to live on forever? Who really cares? These are good questions to ask as a person and as a brand before posting.

Some may disagree with the caution and post extreme emotions or make a name for themselves from going up against their former employer. These people may be ok creating that kind of online persona, which is different from the professional one my classmates and I aspire to create.

8 comments

  1. Kimberlee – Nice post! I think my takeaways from this semester were very similar. So many brands and companies think that they need to be out on every social platform, but you make a great point in that “a company needs to meet a consumer where they are.” Your customers have different use cases for different platforms, and it is important not to waste time on the platforms that are not important and do not align to fulfilling a company strategy. And like you say, “thinking before you post”, is crucial. Not only is it crucial for your personal brand, but it is also crucial for businesses. I think back to the Commonwealth Edison case, where their controlled and calculated response left their customers with an overall, positive experience.

  2. Kimberlee, I think your point about how mainstream social media has gotten is really fair. I think that it’s becoming so mainstream that in the future we might not distinguish between it and the general internet. It’s dominating our time and attention, it serves as our primary directory to other sites, it is effectually the heart of the internet (well it and google…). I hope one day young students do get a class in it, there are a lot of important lessons.

  3. Good post. Your “look both ways” approach is definitely something I had an appreciation for before the class, but really gained a better understanding of because of the class. I think your other point about where will social media lead to is the other big point I came out of this class with. It is going to be the big question in the next decade and one that this class will help us understand as it gets answered.

  4. I think that’s the best advice you can give to anyone on social media, regardless of the context, situation, purpose or location. “Think twice before posting” was one of my key takeaways from this class too, because pretty much anything in the online space is public domain and you will be held accountable for what you put there. It’s so easy to forget to apply the same cautions you would normally ensure when sharing physical information, simply because sharing things on digital platforms is just too easy!

  5. Great post Kimberlee. You make a great point about the importance of having distinct social media strategies for different social media platforms. Far too many companies have a “blanket” strategy as you described treating all mediums the same which, in effect, creates problems as they are not utilizing these tools as they are meant to be.

    I couldn’t agree more with the overall theme of this post and thinking twice before putting anything out in the public sphere. Rants and emotional outbursts and unavoidable, but it’s essential to exercise restraint when it comes to social media because anything that is posted on the internet is permanent and can be diged up, even if its taken down.

  6. You bring up an interesting question – “what will we layer on top of social media?” Social media’s presence has been so pervasive in the last ten years. It has found its way into almost all aspects of our life: working out, grocery shopping, learning, etc. But where does it go from here? As we continue to find more and more uses for social media in everyday life, I think the answer will become more obvious. One of the most astounding things to me about social media is the data that it can provide on the consumer and how valuable it can be to a business. Utilities like sentiment analysis and other tools for the aggregation and analysis of the content that users generate on the internet will continue to become more and more valuable as more of the population joins the social media sphere. This is awesome from a business standpoint, but also slightly frightening!

  7. Nice subtle turn of phrase. Think twice not only about what you’ll post but also where. Think not only about whether you should, but how you might make it better.

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