My degree is in psychology and so studying people and what they do is a lifelong habit. Watching the interaction of individuals on social media is fascinating. I am not the only one fascinated by it, of course. The people at Social Implications spend all their time exploring the impact of social media.
They explore it from a bit different perspective than I. Social media can really help a business or really hurt it. Now that it is common for human resource departments to Google a person and check out their blogs, it can hurt or help you, too.
For example, consider a business I followed that had a sex related tweet over one weekend. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and assumed they had been hacked. However, I started really watching the content of that company’s tweets. Had the sex related tweets continued, I would have not only unfollowed that business, I would not have spent money with them, either. While one person would not mean much, angering a lot of followers could doom a business.
Individuals are not off the hook. Remember Mark Phelps and the photo of the bong that pretty much cost him all his endorsements. That was posted on a social media site, picked up by the media, and caused a storm of controversy. All his medals were forgotten in an instant.
How do you know what is and what is not safe?
That is the mission of Social Implications: to keep social media safe, fun, and effective. They help you use social media to effectively market your brand by discussing best practices, pitfalls, how to rescue yourself from mistakes, and what policies to make sure your company has and follows.
Everyone has a brand. For individuals, it is your reputation. For companies, it is reputation plus products. Do not lose out on a job or sale because of a stupid mistake. Follow the Social Implications blog and enhance your reputation, not destroy it.