An important part of my PR job is giving social media advice to Burson-Marsteller’s clients. So you might expect me to be able to give social media advice to my own friends. Seems fair. But I am not qualified to deal with your personal online issues.
1. I don’t care how many likes I get.
My self-esteem isn’t shattered if for some reason no one likes my Facebook post or my newest photo on Instagram. I like likes, hearts, repins and retweets – each one makes me happy. But if there are few or none, I assume people didn’t get it, weren’t online at the right time or don’t care that I read something on the internet or drank wine on my balcony. That doesn’t mean my friends don’t care about me. So I just post what I feel like, without the need for a personal social media strategy.
If having no followers on Twitter is bad for your business, I get it. But if a lack of likes/hearts/repins makes you believe the world hates you, then I don’t know how to make you stop feeling that way. Your problem is a case for psychologists or your friends. Please read this post about how social media is not the problem and this post about how to make yourself feel better. Then call a real life friend.
I can safely be myself in social media because I am a conscientious, polite nerd. I have no problem keeping other people’s secrets, whether they’re friends, colleagues or clients. I don’t cheat on my boyfriend, I don’t hate my job, and getting drunk just makes me too sleepy to publish anything. My most serious guilty pleasure is Pinterest.
So many social media gaffes are about people not knowing how personal or “open” you can get without being completely inappropriate. Peoples’ boundaries are different, but if you don’t have some instinctive grasp of what’s ok and what isn’t, I find it hard to relate to you.
I google before I tweet,and I think before I speak, and that is far as I will go advice-wise.
If you are skeptical of social media, out of fear that you will say something that you should have kept hidden, then what does that say about you? That you cannot keep secrets? That the only thing stopping you from spewing out gossip, hate speech and confidential information is your lack of a Twitter account? In that case, just shut up and go away.
3. People are difficult in their spare time
OMG, he liked your Facebook status – what does that mean? Uh, it means he saw what you published and liked it. I love over-analyzing (why do you think I have a blog?), but working with communication does not mean I understand the hidden depths behind your friend of a friend’s Tumblr. At work, I can make sure people understand your press releases, company websites and quotes to a journalist. But outside of the professional world, the internet can really bring out the non-committal, easily-distracted, lazy sides of our personalities, making communication pretty vague. Do you want me to have a creative workshop with the guy in question to help him develop talking points, messaging and a plan for exactly how he is going to ask you out? If not, don’t expect my professional experience to be of much help.
- For Norwegian readers, this post is mainly about being “too open” as a journalist in social media.
- Over to the dark side? – Making PR my job
- Leaving the inforati and their mutually assured distraction – SoMe is just too much sometimes
- Back to the weblog– My favorite online media is more personal than social