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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Simon Wright: When I’m interacting on social media I’m quite cautious about the stuff that I’m putting on there and also the stuff that I’m commenting about. I kind of think, how will this benefit me in the long term, which sounds a little bit kind of sensory in many ways. But I think it’s really useful to look at your kind of social media footprint. And you see this in the public eye and you see this in workplaces all the time today where people post things 10 years ago, 20 years ago or whatever that’s coming back to haunt them.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds Hayley Dunlop: So before I post something on online platforms,

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds I ask myself three very important questions: firstly, would I’d be happy for my parents to read this?; secondly, would I’d be happy for my children to read this in the future?; thirdly, would I’d be happy for a future employer to read this? And if the answer is no to any of those questions, then I do not post it. I’m a cautious person but I think actually being cautious on social media is a really good thing if I ever have that niggle of doubt, I delete it.

Skip to 1 minute and 19 seconds David Levin: So when I’m thinking about what to post there are a few of mental checklists that I would go through. One is, could it be taken out of context? And I definitely have some examples of where that has happened. You need to think about what is happening at the time, what are people talking about, is it going to fit in with that conversation. And is it written and crafted, or if it’s a video, is it made to a level that you’re going to be happy with when you look back at it in a few months?

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds Gemma Webb: There was this one incident on social media where it was all to do with children whether they should be vaccinated or unvaccinated. It became quite a big issue, because lots of people were getting comments on that and getting really upset. One lady was actually fired from her job for commenting on it because the views were so strong and it would have an impact on their professional career, their business. I felt the best thing for this would be for me to remove myself from that chat, from that social media page.

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 seconds I found lots of other social media pages that were just as good I could join in instead, and that way it meant that it wasn’t affecting my business at all.

Skip to 2 minutes and 43 seconds Simon: Throughout my career I’ve seen how social media can be quite negative for certain people’s careers. For me, it’s been generally positive. I’ve rejected a couple of people for jobs before in the past. And they’ve gone on Twitter and badmouthed the company, badmouthed me and my colleagues. This wasn’t something I originally saw myself but was brought to my attention by other people, not just at my company but in other companies as well. So that was quite short sighted for that individual. There was an incident when I worked at the BBC where somebody was part of the redundancy process from an HR perspective and they were short listing people to be made redundant.

Skip to 3 minutes and 25 seconds And they were talking about it quite openly on their Facebook and how sorry they felt for the potential people that were being made redundant, which obviously was kind of a breach of confidentiality and a breach of trust. And that eventually got round to the people who didn’t necessarily know that they were being made redundant because of this person’s social media. So it all got a bit messy.

Assessing your online presence

Online content has the power to spread your message quickly and effectively, but if your message is misinterpreted, the wrong impression can also go viral.

In this video, you hear from a range of online content professionals working in social media platforms, blogs and podcasts to find out what they do before they post their content online.

What do you think?

What is your reaction to the advice you heard in this video?

  • Have you followed a similar approach when deciding what to post?
  • Do you have any suggestions or ideas to share?

Share and discuss your responses with other learners in the Comments section.

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This video is from the free online course:

Create a Professional Online Presence

University of Leeds