One of the best things about social media is that it allows us to connect with so many people, very quickly. We can share something on Facebook, Twitter or Google + and have it seen by lots of eyeballs.
But that also means that if we post something not-so-great, everyone is there to see it. And they can share it with all of their followers.
Yes, we can delete a Facebook post or a tweet, but that doesn't mean that people who have seen it aren't already talking about it, taken screenshots of it as evidence (remember the Kenneth Cole Cairo debacle?) or shared it with friends.
I've learned from managing my own social media accounts, as well as my clients' accounts, that there should be a quick 30 second check before every post or tweet is finalized.
30 Seconds to Protect Your Social Media Reputation
1. Do a Grammar Check
Spelling errors aren't the worst mistake you can make in a social media post, but they can be embarrassing.
I always like to read over my post at least twice to check for errors. I then read it out loud to make sure I'm not missing any words.
2. Do a Grandma Check
Is what you're about to post something you would feel comfortable showing your grandma or your parents? If not, think twice before posting.
The reality of social media is that you have people from all different backgrounds reading your posts. So people of different ages and parts of the worlds will interpret your words differently. If you write for the more conservative reader, you'll probably be safe.
3. Do a Topic Check
Is this topic something you want to talk about with your followers? Is this a touchy topic? You may offend people or find that you have an all out war in the comments.
That doesn't mean that you never talk about something controversial even if it is related to your business, but I suggest you carefully think about how to word your post.
A Little Time Now to Save Time Later
Making a habit of doing the 30 second check before each post can save you a lot of grief in the end. Anyone who's had to deal with an uncomfortable social media issue knows where I'm coming from!