We must admit that social networks are not a faithful reflection of real life and much of the best that will happen to us throughout our lives will not happen in front of the screen. However, they are a very visible communication channel: through them we express what we think, feel, the topics we consider interesting or what we aspire to achieve personally and professionally.
With this in mind, we must clarify that everything we publish on the network affects in one way or another how others perceive us. There are even recruiters who ask their prospects for their personal social media accounts (in order to know what people they might or might not be hiring) or clients who will look for your company before deciding on their proposal. Is it worth inviting someone to the team who complains about their previous job or their former boss? It doesn’t seem sensible.
You might think, like many, that they are your networks and you do with them whatever you want. You’re right, in the same way that the company would be within its rights to deny you the job or the client to reject the project because of what you post.
The good news is that you can also put such networks to work in your favor to promote what you do, win customers, increase your income and become an important voice in your field.
Therefore, let’s start with the rough: What do we do daily on social networks that affects our personal brand?
1. Complain about work
Maybe you are not in the dream job,that promised position or in the best company; maybe your boss is a perfect cretin and you have no one to vent to in the office or maybe you have the worst partners or clients in your sector. However, your networks are not the ideal place to complain. With that you only convey negativity and become a toxic element in your business and friends list.
Instead, consider what you can do to improve your environment, have a healthy relationship with your bosses, win over the customer, or, if you see that as impossible, seek new horizons.
2. Personal dramas
We have all had that friend or contact who has a new boyfriend and is the love of her life, uploads a thousand photos and thoughts and then ends with him and says a thousand against the aforementioned as if it were the evil incarnate. Then she has a boyfriend again and the cycle repeats.
Maybe that person considers it to be the natural thing to do in a relationship, but watching it from the stands is not pleasant. Ask yourself who your audience is, those who see all that and maybe they won’t write to you, but they will locate you perfectly for your unstable love life.
3. Constant complaints
The usefulness of social media in raising complaints against a bad service or a particular brand has been demonstrated. Companies such as Banamex, HSBC, Correos de México and Telmex have teams specialized in detecting and attending to user disagreements to prevent crises, although there are also users who only go to networks to complain about this type of thing.
It is just as harmful to just write to complain as it is to build nothing positive. It is common for these types of users to have in common their low numbers of followers (when they are influencers or opinion leaders, they built a base for what they publish), so make sure that complaints are only part of everything you share on the network.
4. Photos “too much” personal
You may be the happiest parent in the world for the arrival of your baby, you want to share moments by your side and you like the family to find out, like and comment, but you must set limits. Not only because it takes time to promote your professional side, but for security reasons.
Look at it from the point of view of your privacy: there are cases of people who put in which neighborhood they live, what school their children go to, their daily routine, where and when they go on vacation, the car they bought and more details that, unless you have your privacy filters well defined, can be available to anyone. Would you like someone to know where your kids are while you work?
5. Jokes and memes in bad taste
Maybe this should have been point number one. It is known that 85% of users on social networks do not generate content, but share it intensely. The case of the friend who only shares videos, memes, photos, jokes and others can come to mind so that others laugh, in addition to the moms and aunts who fill your phone memory with “blessings” via WhatsApp.
We go further. This has happened: how would you feel if your boss, a client, co-worker or your teacher sent you sexist, classist, homophobic jokes, with explicit photos and high-sounding language? If you’re that person famous in your groups of friends for sending this kind of content, let me tell you that you’re not making the best impression.
Yes, you have to talk about this and it applies to both genders: how nice that your parents made you with love and you have a beautiful face or a perfect body product of hours of the gym, because it is difficult to resist showing it off, you can even attract fans and possible conquests, but if what you want is to give a professional image, maybe it’s not ideal.
What’s more, suppose that at some point you decide that your work speaks for you, but those photos follow in your profiles, at the same time that professional contacts arrive. Do they follow you and talk to you because of your work and knowledge or because you “fancied” you in your photos? Think.
7. Not sharing what you do
What doesn’t all of the above refer to not sharing what is done? Yes, but I mean what is done professionally. Your company may not be at its best, you may hate your job, you may have a disappointing family or love life (or an exemplary one, congratulations!), a beautiful body and a fantastic sense of humor, but if you do not put what you know, learn and nourish you professionally, social networks are just a hobby that consumes time.
Remember that a good hobby not only gives you recreation, but also gives you the opportunity to express yourself and let others know what you do. Just as golf helps to close business deals and reading helps to improve language and knowledge, social networks allow you to get closer to other professionals, clients and professional contacts that otherwise you would not have been able to reach.
Thus, it is advisable to share what you do professionally: what news interests you, what projects you are looking to start, what events or congresses you are interested in attending, perhaps some writing you have done about the sector, some academic collaboration, a school project, recommendations of books that changed your life. You may even find those who share the same passions and help you grow.
And well, I’ve written a lot of what not to do. In the following post I will tell you about specific actions you can do on social networks to build your personal brand.