How to Avoid Personal and Professional Mistakes When Using Social Media

    3Sometimes, it can seem like “social graces” are becoming a thing of the past as users Tweet and post opinions and information in the virtual world that they would not likely share in their immediate social circles.

    National speaker, communication expert, professor and author Leslie Shore sees the trend as well as the impact on business communications.

    Shore is the owner of Listen to Succeed, a consultancy that focuses on using listening analytics to help clients achieve their highest level of effective communication. Her book, “Listen to Succeed,” is used in universities, businesses and non-profits throughout the United States and Canada.

    Shore offers these 5 reminders for avoiding the pitfalls of losing your social graces on social media – or anywhere else, for that matter:

    1. Don’t respond to a post or comment out of emotion. Take time to process what you have read or seen and allow yourself time to reflect on your thoughts before commenting out of anger or frustration. Remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

    2. Remember who your ‘friends’ are. Before sharing your thoughts on politics or religion, or posting something provocative or controversial, keep in mind who your audience is. Is it worth creating tension with your family, friends, coworkers, etc.?

    3. Keep your personal conversations personal. There is no need to take your private life public. Tweeting your boyfriend you love him or telling your sister how angry you are on Facebook will only open up dialogue to those who have no need for involvement.

    4. Stay truly connected to those who matter. Don’t wish your family a happy birthday on Facebook; pick up the phone or make the trip to see them. Instead of sending invites, thank you’s, and holiday cards online, send your loved ones something they can keep forever.

    5. Don’t brag. No one likes a bragasaurus in person, so why would they ‘like’ one on social media. It’s fine to tell folks what you’re doing and share good news, but if it turns into a brag-fest, you will be un-liked, un-linked, and un-followed.