Think before you tweet!

Examples of inappropriate tweets and posts flood onto social networks throughout each day and even the high profile are not immune to tweeting and posting without first considering the consequences. Not for the first time, Rio Ferdinand @rioferdy5, QPR’s central defender was punished last week by the Football Association (FA) for tweeting an offensive message.

On 1 September, transfer deadline day, Ferdinand tweeted “get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket” in reply to a Manchester United fan who tweeted “Maybe QPR will sign a good CB (centre-back) they need one”. Sket is a slang term for a ‘loose woman’.

The sports governing body, the FA handed down a three match ban, a £25,000 and one-to-one training on social media (sadly, not with me). With retirement from playing not away, the tweet could also be career damaging with Ferdinand likely to see out a role on the administrative side of football.

In a world where your online reputation IS your reputation here’s some guidance to ensure you remain professional when using social networks:

  1. Think before you tweet or post!
  2. Never post anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of a newspaper or as a headline on the BBC news website.
  3. Never assume your posts are private – even if you’ve ‘locked down’ your privacy settings. Anyone viewing your posts can screen shot your post and share across social networks.
  4. Never assume you are anonymous – all online profiles can be tracked and unless you extreme measures, all internet connections and computers are traceable too.
  5. Consider your safety.
  6. Avoid posting and tweeting about religion and politics.
  7. Changed your mind about posting? Whilst you can remove your own posts and tweets, you can’t delete them once they’ve been shared or retweeted so delete quickly before it’s too late.
  8. Ensure you are familiar with your company’s social media policy. If you’re an employer and you don’t have a social media policy – see me!

If you need advice on social media reputation management or policies please get in touch.

Remember – Please tweet responsibly!

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