One thing that I am learning more and more everyday is that “everyday Americans” are now thinking about PR all the time and never realizing the importance of it and maybe not even realizing that they are doing it.
With the onset of social media, we are constantly able to send out a message to the world – a completely raw and sometimes unpolished message. This is great for us to be able share our dreams and ideas, for us to share things that are important to us, and things about our daily lives that we want to share with others. The downfall can be that you have to realize that what you post is permanent, you do not control what others do with your message, and you have to be aware of the boundaries that you need for your life (online and off)
Don’t worry, this is not going to be a blog about the woes of Social Media – I love social media, I just think my generation needs to be aware of the ramifications and benefits of using it! I have been thinking through a few pointers on the use of Social Media, all of which I use as boundaries and ideas for my own on-line community:
- Buy your own domain while it exists: It is not weird for you to buy YourName.com now while it is available. The advantage to doing this is that YOU get to control the message that comes up when people and employers Google you. Even if you do not have a website or a blog, buy the domain for 9.99 a year and put up a quick blog that has a photo and says “about me” or link it to your Facebook profile – You do not want someone else to control your message, this will allow you to do so.
- When you Tweet or Update your Facebook Status know what you are saying – When I tweet or when I post on Facebook, sometimes I try to offer good content, other times I am updating on my life, and sometimes I am trying to connect my friends and followers to something I care about. The thing to remember when posting is that you are broadcasting your message to ALL of your followers. I often visualize standing on a stage and announcing my post to an audience of almost 1500 people (roughly the amount of people who get my posts in one way or another). If I would not say what I am saying to that crowd, then why would I do that online. I am never embarrassed by or running from my posts.
- Realize what you post is permanent – Next time you have nothing to do, you should read through what you agree to when you “click here to agree to the terms and conditions.” Most likely, you give up most of your ownership rights to photos, videos, and your posts when you post on a lot of sites. What we write and what we do creates a digital footprint and it is important that we are who we are no matter where we are – even online.
These are a few things that have helped me online. The social network world we live in offers so many opportunities and allows for so much collaboration, but it is worth saying to be careful, create boundaries, and work to be proud of YOUR message.
What are your tips for creating a maintaining boundaries in your social networks?