Social media plays a big role not just in the lives of PR professionals, but in the lives of just about everyone. I’m constantly checking Facebook, tweeting about something, or scrolling through Instagram all day long. I know that I am not the only one guilty of doing so on a daily basis! It’s safe to say that people love social media, but have you ever thought about how you apply social media to your life? You obviously use it to stay in the loop of the lives of your favorite celebrities, have a serious case of FOMO when you see what your friends are up to, and to creep on your ex boyfriend or girlfriend, but have you ever noticed how often you blame social media for something?
Think about it this way: now-a-days most conflicts begin with a subtweet or a status that offends somebody else, in turn, creating an argument. Also, social media has managed to become people’s outlet for when they need to vent, again causing conflict. How about the excuse, “It’s just Twitter/Instagram/Facebook, it doesn’t mean anything…”? This statement can stir up a huge fight in relationships or create a stir in a business. Little do most people realize, social media is extremely powerful and it isn’t always just those 200 followers that see your tweets or posts. Your words on social media are often times more puffed up than what you meant for them to be and can be taken the wrong way in a split second. This is a very important fact for PR professionals to understand.
In the PR industry, you absolutely cannot blame social media for the words that you put out, because after you hit that send button there is no turning back. So instead of blaming social media for your mistakes, try to remember these three rules.
Don’t use social media as a crutch. Otherwise don’t use the infamous “I didn’t mean to post that.” STOP USING SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN EXCUSE FOR YOUR ERRORS!
Understand the purpose of social media. Social media was created to spread news in a faster and more efficient way. Your thoughts and feelings may not be headliners, but one slip of the tongue can turn you into the latest news.
Know your role on social media. This is the most important rule to follow. Know your role is simply knowing your place on social media. Before you go posting something take a minute to think about it, the meaning behind it, how you feel about the comment, if it’s offensive, and if it reflects you in a positive way.
Next time before you run off and start playing the blame game, think about what your actually using social media for in order to avoid all conflict. After all, if you’re in the office you won’t go off running blaming your mistakes on the guy next to you, so why blame social media?
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Alissa Steele.