Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Granted, social networks do not reflect real life and much of the best that will happen to us in the course of our lives will not happen in front of the screen. However, they are a widely visible communication channel: through them we express what we think, feel, the topics that we consider interesting or what we want to achieve personally and professionally.
With that in mind, we need to make it clear that whatever we post on the web, in one way or another, affects how others perceive us. There are even recruiters who ask potential clients about their personal social media accounts (to find out which people they may or may not hire) or clients who visit your company before deciding on their proposal. Is it worth inviting someone onto the team who complains about their previous job or their former boss? It doesn't seem to make sense.
Like many others, you might think that it is your networks and that you do what you want with them. You are right, just as the company would be entitled to refuse you the job or the client to reject the project because of your publication.
The good news is that you can also use these networks for yourself to promote your work, attract customers, increase your income, and become an important voice in your field.
So let's start with the rough: What do we do on social media every day that affects our personal brand?
We will see:
1. Complain about work
Maybe you're not in that dream job , the promised position or in good company; Maybe your boss is a perfect idiot and you don't have anyone to venture in the office, or maybe you have the worst partners or customers in your industry. However, your networks are not the ideal place to complain. With this, you will only transmit negativity and will become a toxic item on your business and friends list.
Instead, think about what you can do to improve those around you, maintain healthy relationships with your bosses, attract the customer, or, if you see that it's impossible, seek new horizons.
2. Personal dramas
We all had this friend or contact who has a new friend and is the love of their life, uploading a thousand photos and thoughts and then coping with them and saying a thousand against the above as if evil were incarnated. Then she has a boyfriend again and the cycle repeats itself.
This person may find it natural in a relationship, but it is not pleasant to see from the stands. Ask yourself who your audience is, the ones who see it all and maybe they won't text you, but they will pinpoint you perfectly due to your unstable love life.
3. Constant complaints
Social media has proven useful for making complaints about poor service or a particular brand. Companies like Banamex, HSBC, Correos de México and Telmex have teams that specialize in identifying and resolving disagreements between users in order to avoid crises, although there are also users who only go on networks to find out about such things to complain.
Just writing to complain is just as damaging as building nothing positive. It is common for these type of users to have their small number of followers in common (if they are influencers or opinion leaders they build a base for what they post) so make sure complaints are only part of everything what you share the network.
4. "Too" personal photos
You may be the happiest dad or the happiest mom in the world when your baby is born, you want to share moments with him and you want the family to know, to like and comment, but you have to set limits. Not just because you have time to promote your professional side, but for security reasons.
Think of it from your privacy perspective: there are cases of people indicating what neighborhood they live in, what school their kids attend, their daily routine, where and when they go on vacation, the car they bought and more details that unless you have well defined your privacy filters, they may be available to everyone. Would you like someone to know where your children are while you work?
5. Disgusting jokes and memes
Maybe that should have been point number one. It is known that 85% of users in social networks do not generate any content, but share it intensively. The case of the friend who only shares videos, memes, photos, jokes, etc. to make others laugh may come to mind, in addition to the mothers and aunts filling your phone memory with "blessings" via WhatsApp.
Let's go over there. This is what happened: How would you feel if your boss, a customer, a colleague or your teacher sent you sexist, classicist, homophobic jokes with explicit photos and lofty language? If you are so famous among your friends that you submitted this type of content, let me tell you that you are not making the best impression.
6. Sexy photos
Yes, we have to talk about it and it applies to both sexes: how nice that your parents made you with love and that you have a beautiful face or a perfect body product, spending hours in the gym, it's hard to resist showing off, you can even to attract fans and possible conquests, but if you want to convey a professional image, it may not be ideal.
Suppose you decide at some point that your work speaks for you, but these photos follow in your profiles as well as professional contacts. Do they follow you and do you speak because of your work and knowledge or because they "wanted" you in your photos? Think about it.
7. Don't share what you're doing
Not all of the above apply to not sharing what has been done? Yes, but I mean what is done for a living. Your company may not be at its best, you hate your job, have a disappointing family or love life (or exemplary congratulations!), A beautiful body, and a fantastic sense of humor, but if you don't say what you know, you learn and it promotes you professionally, social networks are just a hobby that costs time.
Remember that having a good hobby not only gives you relaxation, but also gives you a chance to express yourself and let others know what you are doing. Just as golf helps you close deals and reading helps you improve your language and skills, social networks allow you to get closer to other professionals, clients, and professional contacts that you would otherwise not have been able to reach.
It is therefore advisable to share what you do professionally: what news interests you, what projects you would like to start, what events or conferences you would like to attend, perhaps have written something about the industry, a scientific collaboration, etc. that changed your life. You may even find those who share the same passions and help you grow.
Well, I've written a lot about what not to do. In the next post, I'll tell you about specific actions you can take in social networks to build your personal brand.