NCET explores business and technology
By Bret Simmons
My journey into social media began in August of 2008, when I joined Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I wrote the first of my 770 blog posts in March, 2009. Some of you have been at it even longer, but most of us have been active on social media for about eight years.
It was a steep curve, but I learned most of the basic operating principles in my first two years of practicing these powerful communication tools. Now we have new platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope. While it seems these tools we are using to communicate are changing rapidly, here are a few things that were true in 2008 that I think are still true today:
Privacy. You can’t trust a social media platform to protect your privacy. Operational privacy is the only way to be safe. Never post anything, anytime, anywhere that you would not be comfortable with anyone seeing.
Authenticity. Everything you post on social media should be an authentic representation of your life and values, but it does not have to be the complete “you”. There are things I do and things I believe that I will tell you over a cup of coffee; however, I won’t post on social media.
We don’t need Facebook to validate our lives.
Professional discretion. Just because you can post, like or share something, does not mean that you should. Personal expression and professional discretion are not mutually exclusive. Use your personal posts to build bridges with customers, employees, and suppliers, not walls.
Everything you post leaves a searchable and shareable digital footprint.
Our customers and employees are of every political party, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity. Very little of what you like, post or share online will actually change anyone’s personal opinion about an issue, but it will change people’s opinion about you.
Why would you want to post something online that would risk offending any customer, employee, or supplier?
It takes customers to grow revenue, and money that doesn’t hit the top line never has a chance to hit the bottom line. Are you using the powerful tools of social media to build a personal reputation online that attracts customers to your business or employees that will be good ambassadors for your brand?
Join us to discuss what you’ve learned in 8 years about social media at NCET’s Tech Bite luncheon on Sept 28, 2016. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology. Register for the event and get more info at NCETbite.org.
Bret L. Simmons, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Management at The University of Nevada, Reno. Bret teaches courses in organizational behavior, social business, and personal branding to MBA and Executive MBA students. Bret blogs about leadership and social business at his website Positive Organizational Behavior. You can also find him on Google +, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.