We live in a world where sharing anything is as easy as pressing a button. One would say it’s too easy that we often forget to think before we post. In the beginning, social media was a fun way to share information and connect with old friends. Now it’s the biggest habit we have that comes with implications such as security and reputation. Since we are all online, it’s good to step back for a moment and plan our posts before randomly sending them out. Here are some things to consider:
1. Have you checked your spelling?
Perhaps the biggest faux pas is bad spelling. It’s easy to shorten words due to time constraints. The best rule of thumb: save that for texting. If grammar is tripping you up then install a grammar check such as Grammarly. This can also help with outgoing emails, status updates and anything else written that your audience will see.
2. Who is your audience?
If your social media is there to boost your brand online then its important that you keep it professional. That ski trip and photos of your kids would be better suited to your personal account. That being said, having a consistent style on your social networks is really important so the occasional personal photo could interrupt the usual pattern of posting you have already built up. Keep them interested without leaving them confused.
3. Are you comfortable with this information being out there indefinitely?
We have this notion that if we choose to delete something online, it’s gone forever. Quite the opposite is true. Many social media apps store information and those statuses and images can last for a long time in the future. Really commit to what you are posting daily. It could save your reputation in the long run.
4. Is it a positive post?
The online atmosphere loves positivity. Since social media is an escape for many, it’s a good idea to keep things light, happy and positive. Got a gripe? It’s best to save that to a private conversation, an email or a personal blog. Pull them in with the best that you have to offer.
5. Does this help your brand?
The number one thing you should be thinking about before you post is, “Will this help my company?” and “Will this help build my brand?” Too often we post without a strategy and this could cost you in the long run.
6. Is there hidden data in this post?
Often when we post a photo, it could have location sharing information attached to it or other personal details. Always check and recheck your settings often. It’s a good idea to check your settings regularly especially after an app update.
7. Are my pictures professional looking?
There are so many social media accounts that have images that look amazing. A well-curated page with consistent looking images will boost your brand faster than just a stand-alone status. Instagram is the land of well-prepared images, however, you do not need to be a professional photographer to create them. Some planning, good lighting, and some great subject matter is a good start. After that, it’s just practice until you have the style you want to put out there.
8. Are you sharing copyrighted material?
In a world of shared images and memes, it’s hard to know where these pictures came from and who made them. If it’s a work of art, a photo, an illustration or design make sure there is a signature somewhere on it. If there isn’t, post where you found it and the creator. Too often people are being called out for using images that they do not have permission to use. Just because it’s online does not mean they are not copyrighted or free to use. Always check your sources!