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Social Business: Before you publish, press pause and think

online reputation

I want you to think about the following for a moment:

  • The last tweet you sent.
  • The last blog post you published.
  • The last marketing email you sent.
  • The last blog comment you made.
  • The last Facebook status you wrote.

First impressions count

Each of those actions, could easily be someone’s first exposure to you. If so, it will form their first impression of you. First impressions count, even if they are inaccurate. First impressions count, even if you are having a bad day.

In business, the impact of a bad first impression can be huge. That’s because you often don’t get a second chance.

So, hit pause and think

It always pays to pause for a few moments before you publish anything, especially if you are angry or in a bad frame of mind. Think. Never underestimate the impact of an angry tweet or a caustic blog comment, etc. Once it’s published, it’s out there. It’s in play. It’s carrying your name. It’s carrying your reputation.

Today, prospective clients and customers habitually research us via search engines and our social networking accounts, before contacting us. Thankfully, we have total freedom over what we say and thus, what we think is perfectly acceptable for prospective clients and customers to discover about us.

Our freedom of choice on this speaks volumes about us – and it does so all day, every day.

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13 Comments

  1. Hi Jim,

    I was going to post a sarcastic comment to my twitter account today about how much fun it is being thrown under a bus by others but after reading this I stopped myself.

    Every time we rant or whine on Social Media, someone who doesn’t know us might have the wrong impression if that is the first thing they see from us.

    I am all about being ourselves when we post but you do make a great point here and it will make me pause and think before I push the button on the social networks that I use.

    • Hi Doug. You make a good point. That momentary rant or whine stays there for all to see, long after we have calmed down.

      Thanks for the feedback, sir.

  2. Hi Jim
    I certainly agree your point it always pays to pause for a bit think and execute it worth to think first then talk.

  3. Hi Jim,

    This is one of the reasons why I don’t really like automation with social media. At the very least you need to be aware of what you are doing and when you are sending it.

    One of the problems with automation… is that people don’t understand the differences between the social networks. Facebook for example requires a different type of content (more visual and interactive) than twitter… so when people link the tow together through automation it doesn’t work well.

    Similarly, twitter is a high volume, high flux network which is very forgivable to a larger number of tweets… BUT Facebook is more personal so if you are updating your Facebook page automatically through Twitter… then you are most likely going to end up with Fan overload.

    You must understand the social networks well before you use automation

    Geoff

    • Hi Geoff. Yes, as well as being mindful of the impression we’re creating, we also need to learn the key differences between the various networks.

  4. Jim,
    I used this earlier thanks to you and saved myself a lot of pain. I was about to react with a sarcastic tweet to someone, because I initially missunderstood what the other person was saying about my work.

    She emailed me later to ask about hiring me.

    THANK YOU. I owe you one.

  5. Iain Ferguson

    March 21, 2013 at 13:33

    It is a fine balance between being different and standing out from the noise of Twitter and other social networks and destroying your reputation in an instant.
    Stopping to think before sending is such good advice. Once its out there, all you can do is hope that your negative message is not picked up – not the way to manage your own or your business’ reputation.

    • Hi Iain. Like they say, it’s a lot harder to get the toothpaste back in the tube, once it’s out.

      Thanks for the feedback and welcome to the blog.

  6. Jim,

    I love this post. Online reputation truly matters. People need to think before they tweet, post or even re-share anything on social media. What you say is a representation of you.

    Potential employers, clients and even college/Universities use social media to eliminate potentially undesirable finalists. Everyone is using social media.

    Remember think before you say it,

    Thanks for sharing your views and for writing:)

    Rob

  7. Great advice Jim. This applies especially if you get involved in an online spat. You can’t take away words once they have been said or published.

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