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What you tweet can be used against you

Responsible Tweeting

Over the last decade, the use of social media by celebrities, business professionals, and politicians has increased exponentially. Throughout that time, we have noticed an alarming number of people in highly visible positions who may not realize that there is no separation between personal and professional when it comes to the influence social media can have on businesses and reputations. Put simply and bluntly, what you post on a personal account will be read as if you posted it on a professional account. There is no distinction between the two in the public’s eye. What you post as an individual will be read and interpreted by your readers as your professional point of view in your function as an employee or employer. As well, published, personal biases and opinions can influence your business in significant ways.

There is no separation between personal and professional when it comes to #socialmedia. Click To Tweet

Twitter, in particular, is complicated, since it is much harder to avoid misstatements and misunderstandings when you are limited to only 140 characters. The probability of a communication problem seems to escalate exponentially when you have fewer words to convey your message or point of view, since it is impossible to use qualifying language and disclaimers to clarify your intended message.

The following tips on responsible tweeting are critical for anyone who tweets or posts on social media, whether personally or professionally:

Speak Up, Speak Out, but Think First

We are all for taking a stand. The best leaders do. You can be for or against something, you can publicly speak your beliefs, you can even share personal information about yourself and your life. But think before you tweet. Are you extremely angry? Are your thoughts unfocused? Will you possibly regret what you post later? Would you still tweet your mind, if you knew your post would be read by your boss, a shareholder, a customer, or your mother?

THINK before you #TWEET. It's that simple. Click To Tweet

Don’t Get Too Personal

By all means, share insights into who you are as a person. Engagement increases when you are authentically you. But balance what you share with what really belongs behind closed doors. We have all seen countless business leaders, politicians, and celebrities lose status, jobs, and respect because they didn’t know when too much was too much.

Some of the things you do should be totally private. This is true especially with information about your social activities that might not be seen as appropriate within your professional or public life. Twitter isn’t a private journal; it is open to millions of people. Don’t unnecessarily give anyone ammunition that they can launch against you later on when your guard is down. Never share anything that could be seen as unprofessional by a large number of clients, associates, or employees.

Keep this in mind: Your competitors and rivals (or even a former spouse) can read what you post, and it only takes a second to grab a screenshot. Deleting tweets is a poor defense at best.

Politics and Religion Are Always Hot Potatoes

Unless your profession is inseparable from your politics and your faith, be careful about sharing too much that is political or religious in nature. This is more difficult to do during heated political campaigns, such as the 2016 US presidential election, but political and religious posts can have a huge impact on other people’s perception of you – and they can cause serious professional and business harm if your views differ from the dominant opinions held in an area where you are operating professionally (or in new markets in which you are trying to enter).

Wait Until You Are Less Emotional

If you are upset, angry, or exhausted, don’t tweet! Full stop. Period. End of discussion. Many of the biggest blunders that occur are  a direct result of emotional impairment. If you are upset at all, take time to calm down before tweeting.

If you are upset, angry, or exhausted, don’t tweet! Full stop. Period. End of discussion. Click To Tweet

Remember: Tweets Last Forever

What you say can and will be used against you … in a court of law and in the court of public opinion. Your tweets last forever. Even if you quickly delete them, there is a chance that they will be saved and used later in a way that will harm you, personally and professionally.

Proofread Your Tweets

Before clicking the tweet button, read over what you’ve written, and make sure you don’t have any typos. Autocorrect is not necessarily your friend. We all have the occasional error where our phones think they know more than we do about what we’re trying to say, but if you make a habit of demonstrating a true lack of grammar, spelling, and comprehension, it will reflect poorly on you.

Not Every Tweet Needs to be Contentious

Social media is used by some people as a place to launch personal attacks against others. Twitter is particularly tempting in this regard, since a user can fire off short, quick broadsides without spending a lot of time composing complicated arguments. However, you may often come across as mean-spirited and bullying when you take this approach – and that can be crippling to your business and reputation.

Again, before posting any tweet, ask yourself how you would react if someone else posted that exact same tweet about you – and understand that the action you are attacking might be necessary for you to take in the future. There is an element of karma about a record that never disappears for those who use social media as a weapon.

The Key to Responsible Tweeting

Twitter can be a powerful medium that enhances your professional reputation and business endeavors, but you must use it responsibly for that to happen. Improper tweeting can have the opposite impact. Understanding and following the suggestions above will help you succeed. Don’t underestimate them because of their simplicity. To err is human. To forgive is something quite different. And if Twitter can become a contributing factor in the falling approval ratings of a US President, then it is certainly a medium that deserves our respect and attention.

Responsible tweeting - a @DaShfactor guide to tweeting well. #twitteretiquette Click To Tweet


LinkedIn and Twitter Make Big Improvements

Hashtags on LinkedIn, Twitter Character Counts, and More!

Great new changes are rolling out on social media that will have a positive impact for many business users. We’re excited because of the way it allows us to achieve even better visibility for our clients.

What Do These Changes Mean?

All of these changes are designed to make it easier for you to engage with, share to, and reach more people. These are positive changes that will allow us to better amplify and magnify your visibility and enhance your digital footprint.

Read more below for details on the individual changes being rolled out to LinkedIn and Twitter:

LinkedIn Pulse: The New Format

The new LinkedIn publishing format is rolling out, and it gives publishers a lot more control over their content. What we love:

Header images can now be the full page width.

LI Header Image

You can toggle to the standard image if your image doesn’t work:

LI Header Image 2

However, the wider image provides much more flexibility for branding and visual magnificence!

LI header image 3

Other changes to the publishing experience on LinkedIn are just as great and possibly even more powerful in terms of increasing visibility. LinkedIn has made it easier to add images, video (supporting YouTube, Vimeo, and other platforms), and slideshows (supporting SlideShare, Prezi, and other platforms) right into the body of your articles. You can even embed a tweet easily, simply by adding the link:

linkedin twitter

Most importantly, LinkedIn is ending the requirement of using the three tags to categorize your article. The tag choices were often limited and narrowing, preventing the article from reaching its full audience. The tagging system is being replaced with a content- and hashtag-driven introduction:

publishing on linkedin

This brings us to the next fabulous change on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn Now Supports Hashtags

Hint: We’ve anticipated this change for some time and have used hashtags in our client posts regularly.

LinkedIn has finally given in: After removing support for hashtags in 2013 because of “poor response,” they’ve finally realized that hashtags are the most practical tool for making content searchable. It’s already been rolled out on the mobile app, with desktop support coming soon.

Twitter Updates Character Count Rules

In a move that completely delights us, Twitter will no longer count links or images as part of the 140-character restriction for tweets. They will also stop counting the characters of the user in a reply. This means we can craft even more exceptional messages without losing a good chunk of the space to an image or link. Twitter is also removing the requirement to add a . before a mention to make sure it is seen by all. (In the past, if you wanted to complain, say, about poor service at the Courtyard Marriott, and you wanted to make sure the whole world saw it, you would have to write .@CourtyardHotels, or it would be treated like a direct message and go only to the user.

courtyard tweet

Further enhancing the platform, Twitter is now allowing users to retweet and quote themselves, providing an opportunity to be more engaging. Read more on the Twitter blog.