There have many cases of social media misuse that resulted in major reputation damage for some popular brands. Any time a person is responsible for producing content, you run the risk of something being said that shouldn’t be. Mistakes like this can happen due to lack of knowledge, misinformation, unstable emotions, or just pure stupidity as was the case with APS Superintendent Winston Brooks. Both cooperate brand and individual reputations can easily be harmed from a single Tweet. It’s important to be aware of how quickly information on social media spreads and how many people can see it.
No one can deny the power of social media. With its universal capabilities and influential stature, it’s no wonder that it can cause a number of social and ethical issues. The best solution is using caution when getting involved with social media and the Internet in general. You never know who’s going to see your post so you should always think twice before clicking. Think about what it is you are about to say and if you really think it is appropriate. If it’s something you think will offend some people or could hurt someone’s feelings, you probably shouldn’t be posting it on social media for the world to see. Some thoughts should just be kept to yourself. I know sometimes in the heat of the moment it can be hard to bite your tongue and keep your opinions to yourself but it’s better than having your whole online reputation tarnished because you just had to post that comment. Venting online is never a smart idea. Especially for a respected professional. Keep your private life and business life separate.
We have discussed professionalism through out the past few weeks and I think a good way to avoid misusing social media is to fully embrace what it means to be a professional. A professional acts like a professional in every situation, always being aware of their actions and the consequences they can have. If you want to keep a good online reputation and the respect of others whether you’re a large global corporation or a normal citizen, be aware of who your audience is and what type of affect your words can have.