Online Reputation Matters, Watch What You Say

One time I was replying to an email.  The customer that was being referenced to in the email was very picky and the transaction was complex.  In my email I was snarky, unprofessional and accidently hit “reply all”, instead of just “reply”.    In retrospect, I was fortunate because that error only cost me $550.

In today’s ever-present world of social media you need to be careful of what you put down in words.  Your professors may have told you not to write anything that you’re not 100% comfortable saying to their face.  With social media, its tracking abilities and the possible negative outcomes it’s not worth it to comment or post questionable things.

College applicants

Teenagers aren’t known for their common sense.  With Facebook teenagers need to learn the lesson that their college professors would teach 8 years earlier.  A Wall Street Journal article in 2008 warned that 10% of colleges were doing online searches for applicants on social media.  Four years is an eternity in social media.  It’s a safe bet that any university worth your time is searching for their students online now.   Tell your kids to mind their P’s and Q’s on Facebook.   Parents, you need to friend your child and monitor their account.  I know that’s not cool, but you need to know what’s going on.

Public safety

If you work for the government, read the above paragraph and do the same thing.  Alpharetta, Georgia publically announced that they’re monitoring all social media platforms for applicants.  Any employer who cares about their business should monitor social media channels for their applicants.  The police in Alpharetta are looking for any applicants that may have expressed a bias against a race/religion, wanted to shoot guns or simply wanted the job to an obsessive degree.

Reporters and judges

In Wisconsin there is a recall effort underway for Governor Scott Walker.  The recall was launched by a series of petitions and online campaigns.  29 judges from around the state signed a recall petition25 reporters from the Gannett Corporation signed the petition too. Neither group

Petitions, even online petitions can be subpoenaed by the court and are a public document.  If you want to dilute the cause that you disagree with, and are a person in the media or courts, sign a petition.   It gives your opponents supposed proof that your biased and waters down your supporters belief, even if you’re supposed to be neutral.

Bill Cosby is funny but doesn’t use cuss words.  There are lots of comedians that are funny, but cuss all throughout their act.  You can express your opinion in social media but be sure to do it responsibly or it could come back and cost you a scholarship or job.


Trey Burley of KWSM
Trey Burley of KWSM
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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of brand journalists. We specialize branding, positioning and ongoing marketing execution in order to generate leads. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA, San Diego, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More