Corporate Social Media Vs. Personal Social Media

We’re now living in the post Information Revolution age, where the biggest media in the world is social media. Literary everybody is connected via social media, and you can just as easily voice your opinion via your personal social media accounts. No more news editors overlooking your shoulders, and media owners deciding what can or can’t be published. These days, literary everybody is a journalist in his or her own right.

Social Media – The World’s Biggest Media

It’s no secret that traditional media are dying. It doesn’t matter whether print or electronic media. Newspapers, magazines, billboards, televisions, radios, alike. They’re just like the old western clich√©, riding off into the sunset. Things were good while it lasted. But it’s time to move on now.

While traditional media represents a properly curated (some say “controlled”) news contents, blogs and social media have no such check and balance. Literary anything and everything can, and are shared online. It doesn’t matter whether they’re about the latest happenings, political debates, current trends, or even your latest hair colour. If you can publish it, you can be sure that somebody, somewhere, will be reading it.

Some may choose to share newsworthy stories, while others may share topics of human interest. And others yet may choose to share personal opinions, like where their favourite dining haunts are, or their personal musical interest. Yet, there are others who choose to share their most intimate stories, like sharing their personal journal for the whole world to read.

There’s no right or wrong. Anyone can literary share anything they want for the whole world to see. You may be highly supportive or against an opinion. Or you could also be indifferent, and choose not to take any side at all. It’s your right to voice your opinion. Of course, doing so may win you some supporters, and critics at the same time.

If Everything Is So Open, Then Who’s Keeping Everybody And Everything In Check?…

The short answer is – Nobody!

And the danger is quite real, that you can literary step on somebody’s toes with your publications or sharing, and not even know it… Or rather choose to ignore it… In short, you’re committing yourself to making new friends as well as enemies by publishing or sharing your stories or opinions.

While some may choose to practise self-censorship, many others do not. You can be sure that you’ll definitely strike up some sparks (both good and bad) every time you share something online. But then again, it’s understood that what you just shared is your personal opinion. If anybody has anything against that, they’re limited to having a negative opinion against you, and you alone.

All’s Good And Fair In Expressing A Personal Opinion, But What If It Comes To A Business’ Sharing?

The general rule-of-thumb is to avoid the Three Big No-No’s when it comes to corporate blogs and social media accounts :-

(1) Politics

You’re running a business as a profit centre. Keep that in mind at all times. So it doesn’t matter which side of the political divide your clients are leaning towards. It’s always best to reel in clients from both sides by staying neutral in politics. Yes, you have all the rights to be highly critical about the politics of the day. Just keep those opinions to your personal accounts. Business accounts should be politics-free.

(2) Religion

Just like political affiliation, everybody is free to practice their own religion, or lack thereof. As far as you’re concerned, you want your business to cater to the whole spectrum of religious beliefs. Hence, every business should strive to keep religious discussions out of their corporate messages and opinions.

(3) Cultural Practices

Unless you’re limiting your business scope to a very specific geographical location or cultural group, this is another big no-no. You don’t want to appear as if you’re favouring one faction over another. You’ll want to avoid being labelled as racist, sexist, ageist, or any other categorists (does such a word even exist?). Businesses should project an image that’s neutral and all inclusive.

Does This Even Happen In Real Life?…

Unfortunately it does… For I’ve had a client (who shall remain unnamed for obvious reasons) who did exactly that…

The short version of the story is this – We were in the midst of the biggest (and most exciting) general election recently. Needless to say, the general public were getting more and more vocal about which party they supported. And just as I was encouraging my client to share their business messages on their corporate social media accounts, the inevitable happened… They started sharing messages of support for one side of the political divide

So during the next meeting, I enquired as to why they shared such a sensitive piece of news. I was taken aback when they nonchalantly replied that they don’t see a problem in doing that. They even cited that everybody else was also sharing it too anyway….¬†Everybody… in their personal capacity that is…

Needless to say, politics have nothing to do with businesses, regardless how much the politicians say so otherwise. And for that reason alone, businesses should strive to remain politically neutral.

Don’t get me wrong. I truly believe that everybody is entitled to express their own political opinions. And that includes you and me. Just do yourself a favour, and make sure to keep it personal…

Am I Opinionated In My Personal Life?

What do you think?… Of course I am… But I choose to keep my personal opinion just that – personal. As far as my business is concerned, everything’s apolitical, areligious, and most definitely acultural. I actively choose to keep all of my personal opinions off limits in my business. You should too…

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