I was honored to recently co-present on social media best practices at the Chi Omega’s National Convention in Orlando. Like any mission-focused organization should, the country’s largest sorority (by members) takes its brand seriously. And with 179 collegiate chapters and more than 340,000 initiates, presenting a consistent image and message can, at times, present a challenge. The key is ensuring your brand ambassadors (i.e., anyone invested in your organization and capable of telling your story) are clear on the narrative, style and tone and you are trying to convey.
Here are some key takeaways on how to keep your brand ambassadors on point:
Social Media is NOT Private
It’s simple: Don’t post something on social media unless you’re comfortable with it becoming public. A post meant for a “trustworthy” friend could easily be screen-grabbed or forwarded without your knowledge. A post you think will only be on Snapchat for 24 hours could live on for weeks and can cause you and your organization great embarrassment if you’re not careful. So why take a chance?
Pause Before You Post
It seems like every day we are reading about a public figure who erases a tweet minutes or even seconds after posting. While it may be gone from their feed, someone almost always captures a screen shot. A 2015 YouGov Omnibus survey revealed 57 percent of Americans who use social media have posted or texted something that they regret. So pause before you post. Amongst the questions you should ask yourself: “Could someone misinterpret what I’m saying?” “Am I revealing too much about myself?” And, of course, “Am I posting in anger?”
Think About Your Next Job Interview
It used to be lying on one’s resume was just about the worst non-criminal offense a prospective employer would find when digging into the background of a potential employee. No more. A 2014 survey from CareerBuilder found that 51 percent of employers who research job candidates on social media found content that caused them to not hire the candidate. That was up from 43 percent in 2013 and 34 percent in 2012.
We Are ALL Brand Ambassadors
Our social media channels are a collection of professional interests and personal pursuits. So keep in mind: Would your boss or clients appreciate a strong political opinion? Would your fellow board members find the use of vulgar language humorous? Would your followers appreciate the sharing of emotionally disturbing video? Everything you post has the power to shape perceptions…of yourself and every organization you associate with.