An Oregon teen provided a good example of the term “overshare” when, on New Year’s Day, he posted on Facebook about his early morning festivities—which apparently included driving drunk and hitting two cars. Later that day, police took 18-year-old Jacob Cox-Brown to jail after finding evidence that the teen’s car matched a vehicle that had damaged two cars.
Most of us who use social media on a regular basis have posted things we wish we hadn’t—only to delete them soon after posting. Though Cox-Brown’s mistake is likely much more detrimental than the haphazard posts we’ve all written at some point, there are a few things about social media posting that we can learn from the teen’s misstep.
1. Always double-check your words before posting.
This may sound obvious, but in our speed-centered culture, we can forget to double check the content, spelling, and grammar of our posts. Make sure the content fits with your brand, and if it does, ensure that it is presented in a clear, polished manner.
2. Ask yourself, “Does this add value to my client, my brand, or me?”
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It’s likely Cox-Brown was trying to seem cool or funny by posting what he did. Unfortunately it made him look terrible. Which brings me to the next point…
3. Consider how your audience will perceive your post.
Does your post sound pretentious? Does it violate the values and beliefs of your target market? Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What would you think of your post?
4. Think before you post.
Do you like reading posts from people who vent all their frustrations online? Or how about those posts filled offensive, lewd comments? Thinking before posting is incredibly important, because—and here’s a secret to a quality social media account—the posts aren’t about you. They’re about your audience. And your audience would likely appreciate something with a little thought put into it. Just about everyone online is guilty of not thinking before posting (including myself), but it’s a good habit to take up.
5. Don’t overshare.
Understand that posting too much too often can get annoying. Following the above points will help you to refrain from oversharing.
Even if your New Year’s resolutions didn’t initially include improving your social media abilities, adding this to your list couldn’t hurt. The Internet could use more articulate posts and less pictures of breakfasts or jokes about Tebow.
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