Social Media has become a big part of our lives. We communicate, engage and interact every second of every day with friends, family and professionals but the question is ‘Are we oversharing?‘
The CIPR definition is that “Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what your do, what you say and what others say about you.”
Either as a professional or a student, it is important to look after the reputation of yourself and the client/brand you are working for with the aim of understanding, supporting and influencing the opinions and behaviours of your public (eg. media, government, existing and potential customers, employees and investors). Whether you’re a student about to head off into industry or a professional, the key to taking control of your social media is to plan and sustain the effort in which to establish and maintain that mutual understanding with everyone who you communicate and engage with daily.
As a student one of the many things we are told by lecturers is to de-clutter our social media. I love engaging and involving myself in conversations with professionals so I can get myself known. One of the steps I took before I hit the follow button on many inspirational professionals on Twitter or Instagram is going through my posts to delete the unnecessary ones, having clear contact details on display and a clear description of who I am.
Think about what you are publishing before you do it. I think that is the same with every student who is passionate about what they love the most. Your new employer doesn’t want to see you drunk with your knickers on full display staggering out of a night club. You’ll regret it later once you are getting questioned about it in graduate interviews.
From a professional perspective, you are there to protect and promote the positives of the brand. Students and consumers of the brand look up to you for inspiration therefore it is important to keep your personal and professional lives separate from each other. It is also important to continue using the right tone, language and style that the brand is perpetuating across their social media channels. However, it is easy to confuse and mix your two lives. It is important to define a clear line between the two.
Whether you’re a professional or a student, the key to measuring what you are sharing on social media is to ask yourself ‘What would your mum think?‘. If you think your mum would be ashamed, annoyed or upset about what you are publishing, the answer is simple. Don’t share it!
As a student readying myself for a career in Public Relations, it is important to remember that I am a brand. I have an image to protect and I want to make a positive impression on those who I aspire to work with in the future. Learning to clearly define the line between my personal and professional lives is the key to not oversharing on social media.
As a society, I believe that we are rapidly sharing too much information on social media. But as a PR student, I have learnt to keep what I share on social media under control.
I would love to know your opinions and thoughts on oversharing on social media. Do you think we share too much? Please feel free to leave a comment or tweet me.