Who benefits from an active social media plan?
Managing and monitoring your online presence is not just for business owners. It’s not just for students trying to get into the best University, either.
A solid presence online is good for everyone. No matter your life’s ambitions… or lack thereof. Everyone should have a plan for managing your online presence.
What does my online presence have to do with my future?
Probably much more than you had considered before. Social media grows every year and it’s not going away. The sooner that you take control of it, the stronger your presence will be.
How soon should you come up with some sort of plan? Yesterday. If you have kids, implement a plan for them too.
I know what you’re thinking. A social media plan for my kids? Seriously? Yes, I’m serious. I happen to know parents that have made their children’s accounts before they were born. I know that may sound odd to you right now. But, in twenty years, it will be the norm.
It gives you control over their online presence now, and in the future. You get to decide when they are mature enough to take it over. And, until that day comes, you get to stop them from making bad mistakes online.
The fact is, many employers are no longer calling references. Instead, they look you up online.
Why take control of their social media? So they have a better chance of being employable in the future, for one. Many employers check social media now and the numbers are growing.
Imagine the consequences for youthful stupidity being stuck in minimum wage jobs for eternity. Not a very nice future, eh?
Now think about how many times you’ve read a status where they talk badly about their job.
Those people will eventually find themselves unemployable. Don’t think that reality is upon us yet?
On April 30th, 2015-
Kaitlyn Walls had just secured a steady job at a Texas daycare. “I start my new job today”, she stated on facebook. Continuing, “But I absolutely hate working at daycare”. She finished the status update with, “I just really hate being around a lot of kids”.
She was fired shortly after her status update was shared by an online group. People were outraged by what she said.
Kaitlyn learned her lesson, stating, “I’m not going to post anything like it ever no matter how I feel”.
In February 2015-
A woman who went by the name @Cella posted a tweet-
“Eww I start this F&@# A&% job tomorrow” followed by several thumbs down emojis.
Her would-be boss responded by tweeting-
“@Cella And….no you don’t start that FA job today! I just fired you! Good luck with your no money, no job life.”
Both of these original stories can be found at the Washingtonpost.com
All I did to find this information was type “people fired over facebook post” in a search engine. The examples were the first stories I found. There were more. Search for yourself, please. Don’t think for one second that employers can’t find your posts!
It goes beyond employment.
It won’t end at employment either. Eventually, anything that you apply for will check your online presence. School, college, loans, housing, etc… all go through an application process. And you can forget about ‘doctoring’ or exaggerating your Resume, too. Everything about your life will be found online, including your work history.
Nothing online is ever really deleted. So, just don’t post anything potentially damaging.
You need a plan.
Even if you are close to retirement, you can benefit from a social media management plan. Every age group and every walk of life should work to protect their online reputation.
Who should have a plan?
*Parents of kids under 18
*Teens that have control of their social media
*Anyone applying to college
*Anyone wanting to buy or rent a home someday
*Those seeking employment now or in the future
*Anyone looking to move up in their career or change jobs
*Those awaiting retirement
So- basically, EVERYONE needs a plan.
I know I need a plan. Now, what?
It can be as simple as committing to avoiding potentially damaging posts. You can also actively look for potential problems and remove yourself from those scenarios.
Keeping your personal information private can be much easier than you think.
No matter the extent of involvement you choose, there are some tips to help you.
*Never say anything negative about work or your co-workers.
Obviously, your negativity can get you fired and keep you from getting another job too. But, did you know that posting anything negative about your co-workers can be considered bullying? Be smart. Keep the work stuff to yourself.
*Avoid the ‘Debbie Downer’ posts at all costs.
Advice is regularly given now to actively avoid negative employees. We are starting to see companies take control of the work atmosphere. This is not a bad thing! If you are a negative type, this could be the motivation you need to change your mindset.
*Attention seeking posts are a NO-GO.
Although we’ve all seen adults make these types of posts, this is mostly a teenage thing. Parents should be diligent in training their teens what appropriate online behavior consists of. Be sure to ‘friend’ your kids online. Let them know you watch their behavior online as well as in day to day life.
*Limit the personal stuff.
Exercise basic internet safety. Don’t post your address and phone number. Never post your work/school schedules. And, NEVER announce your vacation!
Nothing good will ever come from letting the world know when you come and go from home. Being away on vacation gives would-be thieves a perfect opportunity to take what they want while you’re gone. Be smart. Announce your vacation when you arrive home and post vacation pictures then.
Before you post ANYTHING, ask yourself this question, “could this cause me problems one day?”. Exercise common sense while posting.
*Craft your posts to help you stay in the best light possible.
No, I’m not telling you to lie. Instead of posting a picture of you at a party while holding an alcoholic beverage, keep the alcohol out of the picture. Impressing your friends isn’t nearly as important as impressing your next employer.
*Take control of your privacy settings.
Set everything to make it as private as possible. This way, everything has to be approved by you before it gets posted. Including those that ‘tag’ you and try to post on your wall. I can’t tell you how many times this privacy setting has kept pointless posts off of my feed. Just do it.
*The internet doesn’t sleep.
The Internet is always growing. It keeps doing it’s thing around the clock. The more strict you are about what you share online, the less chance for problems to arise later.
I know there are some that think, “why bother then? I’ll just stay off of the internet”. That may seem like a logical plan, but It really isn’t a great idea. More and more jobs and education are based online. Embrace it and be active in your presence.
Ready to rule the internet?
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