Social media makes everyone more visible. Thanks to ever-advancing technology and networking tools, we live in a world where "private" can very quickly become "public."
Anything you post online can easily be viewed by unintended eyes.
However, social sites also provide ways to share the good. There is much helpful information that is educational and entertaining. And "virtually" meeting people can lead to work opportunities, and new friendships.
A polished online presence initially works like small talk. If you appear friendly and approachable, your network will easily grow.
Each time you post on social media, you make a first impression on someone. Are your first impressions positive?
If you are creating a social media presence as a professional or business owner, you want to be especially mindful of your online image. Competitors, clients, and customers are definitely watching!
Stay true to who you are, and to the personality of your company. You can still post fun items, just make sure they are in line with your professional presence.
For instance, if you are an accountant who supports animal rescue charities, you can express your animal lover side by posting sweet pet pictures or announcing a fundraising event you will attend.
Including charitable, hobby, sports, or other interests can easily draw customers and clients who share those interests. Just don't let them outnumber your business-related posts.
Unfortunately, everything isn't always so rosy in the online world. Typing words on a screen can give some people the impression they can say anything without repercussions. And some of the things they say are not at all nice.
If you read a response to your post that is negative or mean-spirited, don't react immediately. Take a step back and evaluate the issue. Were you expressing an opinion that someone disagreed with? Was your post misunderstood? Did you share incorrect information? Or are you really being attacked?
Try and take the high road when you can. If you are uncomfortable or feel threatened, block the cyber bully or suspend your account for a while. Many times, simply ignoring people like this will encourage them to go away.
The one thing I discourage in every situation is to engage someone like this in a cyber fight. When you react with a retaliatory negative post, you may as well brace yourself for more to come.
Again, consider the image you are portraying when you engage in this type of exchange. It will never be positive - even if you are right.
The best way to win friends, inspire people, and always leave a great first online impression is to consistently remain positive, polite, and respectful.