oops_istock_000008179465xsmallWhat happens these days when we get stuck in traffic, the airline loses our luggage, or the copier at work is jammed? Tweet about it, of course. Or blog. Or Facebook. Sure, we’ve all done it. Even on our business profiles.

And why not? It is social media, after all — a chance to show the personal side of business. For professionals, social media sites allow us to chat, vent, joke, commiserate, and share experiences with people who (we hope) will understand.

If a service provider gives you terrible service, it can be good to share that information (in the clearest, most constructive voice you can muster). Companies should be aware of this facet of social media and see it as an opportunity to respond and improve their service.  But it’s different when you’re sharing gripes about your clients and customers. 

While it may be tempting to jump on Twitter or Facebook when you’re irritated about a client forgetting to return your call or not listening to your excellent advice, don’t do it.  No matter how well you think you veil your comments in anonymity, you can never be sure who’s watching and reading between the lines.
Of course, you may not care about keeping an offending client, but what about the others? What other clients or potential clients are noticing those posts?  People don’t have to be registered with sites like Twitter to see your tweets, you know. What do they think about them?  Your complaint may be perfectly valid and worthy of a witty or scathing comment. Yet, are you absolutely sure you’re portraying the professional image you want industry leaders and potential clients to see?

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like are making it easier than ever to share how we’re feeling in the moment.  But never, ever forget: those tweets and posts are public and permanent.  Did you know the U.S. Library of Congress is archiving every public Tweet you send? And who knows what Facebook is going to do with all our information.  That should give us all pause. 

Always be mindful of your public persona and brand on social media.

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0 # Ajeva 2010-10-25 03:28
This made me remember what my friend told me - that what you leave on Vegas, stays on.. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and so on. Haven't we read stuff about people getting sued or going to jail just because of a tweet prank gone wrong? I think that in the future, a social media police will be as real as ever and they say truth can be stranger than fiction? Thanks for reminding us all who lose it all on social media.
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