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March 26, 2015
Social Media: Where Oversharing Is Not Caring
 
The social media overshare is one of the most annoying features of the Internet. You’re often surrounded by people who publicly flaunt their opinions and observations through digital means. Not long ago, the only place to share this kind of information was in person or by email. However, the emergence of social-media sites like Twitter and Facebook has provided people with a convenient forum in which to check up with friends. The Internet makes users vulnerable to oversharing — and your business could experience online reputation management issues as a result.  
 
We all possess a strong urge to unload our fury and frustration on the Internet. At times, the results are quite humorous. Most psychology researchers have attributed our desire for oversharing to a base need for controlling anxiety. According to a recent Harvard University study, approximately 80 percent of our social-media posts revolve around telling friends and followers how we think or feel. Oversharing can often be played as a joke, but many people are discovering that this ongoing tendency is no laughing matter.
 
The law protects online users from self-incrimination, but confessions could prove to be detrimental for the success of your business. It’s rarely as simple as apologizing and moving on. Here are a few suggestions so that you’re not tasked with cleaning up the damage from someone’s questionable decisions to post updates, photos, and videos of a controversial variety.
 
Separate Business from Displeasure
Businesses want their customers to think that they’re smart, funny and interesting. Sometimes it just feels good to talk about accomplishments in the workplace. Disclosing awards and accolades can be extremely fulfilling. Postings on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites are sometimes the cause of instant regret.
 
Certain kinds of people are more likely to indulge in this oversharing. These people should not be in charge of your business’s social media account. Your consumers are paying close attention to what you’re saying at all times and might be turned off from purchasing your product or service. Plus, your superiors might consider these posts to be rude and unflattering — to where you might be terminated from your position.
 
Write a Few Ground Rules
For companies wishing to earn a larger presence online, social media monitoring is a critical element of this campaign. A thoughtful social media policy removes any confusion about what should and should not be posted on these sites. Employees must be reminded that their private affairs are not appropriate for professional sites. Business issues such as relocation benefits, health insurance plans, and salaries are prime subjects of debates within the office, but should be omitted from the social media profiles of a business and its employees.
 
Be Very Visual
The primary goal of your social media identity is to connect with prospective customers and clients. Interactive engagement is key. Studies have shown that videos and photos are often more engaging — generating more retweets and Likes than text updates.
 
Attractive videos and photos will display your products or services in a positive light. It’s important to create boundaries between public and private life — as well as personal and professional life. Social media sites improve our daily lives in several ways, but they also serve as a tempting outlet for messages that are better left unsent. For your business, develop parameters so that each piece of content you distribute falls in line with your message.

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Blake Jonathan Boldt has contributed effective and educational content to a variety of businesses and organizations. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, and digital media outlets.
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