SOCIAL MEDIA TIP OF THE WEEK: Be Careful Who You are Associated With

Sometimes you just have to be careful.  When it comes to the world of social media and blogging, one of the essential keys to achieving success is to find others who talk about similar things and leave comments for them.  It is tempting to leap right onto that bandwagon as soon as you see a blog or another Facebook page that just happens to be about the same thing your business is about.

However, it pays to do a little research.  This is something I ran into myself not that long ago.  As part of a PR firm I often get requests from journalists who want to write about a variety of things.  This particular journalist was wanting someone with social media experience to comment on a particular political figure who uses social media extensively. 

I felt that, although I disagree with this particular political figure, I could comment on how they had used social media.  I was excited and felt that it would be an interesting opportunity.  I nearly fired up my email and was about to send off comments to the writer.  Then, I paused.

I had to think.  If I submitted my thoughts, it would also reflect on my company.  Did I want myself and the company I worked for affiliated with ANY political figure from either side of the political fence?  Given the testy nature of politics in this country these days, probably not, and I had to decide not to send my suggestions.

Sometimes that’s what you need to think about when it comes to commenting and venturing into social media.  Remember that your company and your name will be associated with that blog, and that blog entry, for a very long time.  Out there on the internet, the comments you make could be seen as an endorsement of that person rather than just a comment on a particular blog posting.

So, take the time to read the blog entry on which you are considering posting a comment.  Really take the time to read it.  Does it say something you want to be affiliated with?  Can you lend anything helpful to the conversation?  Or, if you disagree, can you phrase your comment in such a way that shows you disagree and can you bring up valid points that show good reason for you to disagree?

Consider what you post and what you link to when you use Facebook and Twitter as well.  If you read an article that you want to share, but only read half of it, and near the bottom the writer says something outrageous, your name can be associated with that part as well. 

In the end, it all comes down to something we probably have already heard: reading is fundamental.  Be careful what you post because you can be seen as endorsing.  Is that something what you want yourself and your company associated with?  It is a simple question, but it can be overlooked.

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