Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Admittedly, social networks are not a true reflection of real life and much of the best that will happen to us throughout our lives will not happen in front of the screen. However, they are a highly visible communication channel: through them we express what we think, feel, the topics that we consider interesting or what we aspire to achieve personally and professionally.
With this in mind, we must clarify that everything we publish on the web affects in one way or another how others perceive us. There are even recruiters who ask prospects for their personal social media accounts (in order to find out which people they may or may not be hiring with) or clients who will seek out your company before deciding on their proposal. Is it worth inviting someone who complains about their previous job or their former boss to the team? It doesn’t seem sensible.
You could think, like many, that they are your networks and you do with them what you want. You are right, in the same way that the company would be entitled to deny you the job or the client to reject the project because of what you post.
The good news is that you can also put these networks to work for you to promote what you do, win customers, increase your income and become an important voice in your field.
So let’s start with the rough: What do we do on social media every day that affects our personal brand?
1. Complain about work
Maybe you are not in the dream job , that promised position or in the best company; Maybe your boss is a perfect jerk and you have no one to vent to in the office or maybe you have the worst partners or clients in your industry. However, your networks are not the ideal place to complain. With that you only transmit negativity and you become a toxic element in your business and friends list.
Instead, consider what you can do to improve your environment, have a healthy relationship with your bosses, win over the client or, if you see that this is impossible, seek new horizons.
2. Personal dramas
We have all had that friend or contact who has a new boyfriend and is the love of her life, upload a thousand photos and thoughts and then finish with him and say a thousand against the aforementioned as if it were evil incarnate. Then she has a boyfriend again and the cycle repeats.
That person may consider it the natural thing to do in a relationship, but seeing it from the stands is not pleasant. Ask yourself who your audience is, the ones who see all that and maybe they won’t write to you, but they will locate you perfectly because of your unstable love life.
3. Constant complaints
Social media has been shown to be useful in raising complaints against poor service or a particular brand. Companies such as Banamex, HSBC, Correos de México and Telmex have teams specialized in detecting and addressing user disagreements to prevent crises, although there are also users who only go to networks to complain about this type of thing.
Just writing to complain is just as harmful as not building anything positive. It is common for these types of users to have in common their low numbers of followers (when they are influencers or opinion leaders, they built a base for what they publish), so make sure that complaints are only a part of everything you share in the net.
4. “Too” personal photos
You may be the happiest father or mother in the world for the arrival of your baby, you want to share moments with him and you like the family to find out, like and comment, but you must set limits. Not only because there is time to promote your professional side, but for security reasons.
Look at it from the point of view of your privacy: there are cases of people who put in which neighborhood they live, what school their children go to, their daily routine, where and when they go on vacation, the car they bought and more details that, Unless you have your privacy filters well defined, they can be available to anyone. Would you like someone to know where your children are while you work?
5. Disgusting jokes and memes
Maybe this should have been point number one. It is known that 85% of users on social networks do not generate content, but share it intensely. The case of the friend who only shares videos, memes, photos, jokes and so on for others to laugh may come to mind, in addition to the moms and aunts who fill your phone memory with “blessings” via WhatsApp.
Let’s go over there. This has happened: what would you feel if your boss, a client, coworker or your teacher sent you sexist, classist, homophobic jokes, with explicit photos and high-sounding language? If you are that famous person in their friend groups for submitting this type of content, let me tell you that you are not making the best impression.
Yes, we must talk about this and it applies to both sexes: how beautiful that your parents made you with love and you have a beautiful face or a perfect body product of hours in the gym, it is difficult to resist showing off, you can even attract fans and possible conquests, but if what you want is to give a professional image, it may not be ideal.
What’s more, suppose that at some point you decide that your work speaks for you, but those photos follow in your profiles, as well as professional contacts. Do they follow you and talk to you because of your work and knowledge or because “they wanted you” in your photos? Think about it.
7. Don’t share what you do
Not all of the above refers to not sharing what is done? Yes, but I mean what is done professionally. Your company may not be at its best, you may hate your job, have a disappointing family or love life (or an exemplary one, congratulations!), A beautiful body and a fantastic sense of humor, but if you don’t put what you know , you learn and it nurtures you professionally, social networks are just a hobby that consumes time.
Remember that a good hobby not only gives you recreation, but also gives you the opportunity to express yourself and make what you do known to others. Just as golf helps close business deals and reading helps improve language and knowledge, social networks allow you to get closer to other professionals, clients and professional contacts that you would not have been able to reach otherwise.
Thus, it is advisable to share what you do professionally: what news interests you, what projects you are looking to start, what events or conferences you are interested in attending, perhaps some writing you have done about the sector, an academic collaboration, a school project, recommendations of books that changed your life. You may even find those who share the same passions and help you grow.
Well, I have written a lot about what not to do. In the next post I will tell you about specific actions that you can do on social networks to build your personal brand.