The recent example of PR Exec, Justine Saccoo, who works (worked) as a PR director for InterActiveCorp, PROVES that you MUST be careful of what you tweet!
This classic, yet cringe worthy example of a tweet gone horribly wrong, should be enough evidence for anybody who uses the multitude of social media platforms out there, to proof, review and screen anything you put out into the public twittersphere, or any sphere with a social, public agenda.
Or don’t?! At your own peril of course. I have heard the words, “well it’s my profile, I can status update what I want!” Well yes, that is correct, however be prepared for the consequences.
And let’s put this into perspective for just a moment everybody. Justine Saccoo wasn’t a relatively popular media figure prior to this tweet. In fact, she only had approx 200 followers on twitter (and after the tweet, probably a ‘surprising’ decrease to only 2 followers). However, the sheer foolishness and inappropriateness of the tweet is what made this go platinum viral and hence…making Justine S a top household name on the ‘Things you don’t do on social media’ list.
So what does this mean for you? Well are you a jobseeker? Are you a professional? Regardless of WHO YOU ARE, whatever you do can affect you, and will affect you, should you display negligent behaviour like ol’ Justine Sacco here. And also remember, Justine is a Public Relations (PR) professional. She should have known better! She should have been aware of what a few simple words could do to someone’s image. So for us professionals or jobseekers who do not have this constant reminder in our face each and every day, could be more susceptible to letting our guards down and tweeting what we feel.
Let me tell you, after reading the article and the following barrage of hate tweets (I took the liberty of inserting some of the more memorable ones below), I did a quick check of my social media to ensure nothing could have been taken out of context and did a comprehensive scan of my latest tweets and updates. Phew…..
- Ensure you set yourself some simple social update rules. Before posting anything, ‘Proof it, review it & scan it’. The last thing you want to do is send out an update that could be viewed inappropriately or taken out of context.
- Do a social audit. Review your social profiles and ensure they reflect a positive brand image, consistent with what ‘image’ you are aiming for or expected to have depending on your role etc.
- Close down inactive profiles as this may not communicate ‘consistency’ for a job seeker.
- Ensure your privacy settings are sufficient and be mindful of who you have as a ‘follower or friend’. Many people have been caught out by sharing or posting something to their profile, only to have been seen indirectly by a friend of a friend on facebook for example. As much as you want to believe it, NOTHING is private.
- Don’t post anything inappropriate, rude, emotionally fuelled or any thing that could come back to bite you in the #$$.