How do you decide which groups, pages, and activities to participate in on social networking sites? It seems like every day there’s another group or cause to join, or something everybody’s doing. But is it right for YOU?
Remember that social networking for personal use and social networking for business are two very different things. While on the surface it may look similar, the individual that uses social media for business purposes needs to run every single online activity through a filter. Ask yourself…would my participation reflect well on my business and my company? If I were to ask my company and my colleagues about how this would reflect on them, how would they feel about it?
Every single thing you do as a direct seller on social networking sites such as Facebook truly does affect every single direct seller in your company. It’s not just about you, no matter how much you wish it might be so. People are forming opinions about the company you represent every single day. When you participate in activities that might offend or at least turn off potential customers and recruits, you could be damaging months or even years of work by one of your colleagues. You wouldn’t want that to happen to you. Why on earth would you do that to someone else?
This also goes for your profiles online. Are you members of pages and groups that reflect well on your company and colleagues, or is it time to perhaps go through that list again? Should you perhaps remove some of those more embarrassing photos? Have you made comments or written notes that are negative or opinionated, and that might offend? If you are using your profile for business, and talking about your association with your company as part of it, it is essential that you realize that you must use an internal censor with everything you do. Your social networking is no longer a place you can just put whatever you want.
This goes for politics and religion as well. People may think that your opinions represent the entire organization’s views. Politics and religion can be SO polarizing, that it’s best to steer clear of these issues in order to not interfere with the business of others. And if you feel you MUST mention these, do so in as neutral a way as possible. Do not intentionally post things that may upset others. While it may be OK if your profile is strictly personal, and you know the opinions of the people you’re connected with, business is another thing entirely, and you are no longer representing just yourself.
So the next time you’re tempted to participate in the next Facebook game, asked to join a group, etc, take just a minute and ask yourself if your customers and your company really want to know your bra color. If you sell bras, then perhaps they do. But maybe you’ll be stirring up a mental image that people really would prefer not to have. Think it though first. Your company and your colleagues will thank you.
What do you think?
Photo Credit: anniemullinsuk