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  • Writer's pictureShellene Drakes

PSA: There's no such thing as a 'private' social media post

This sounds like common sense, doesn't it?

I'm not talking about your professional LinkedIn or your business' Facebook page. I'm talking about your private social media--your personal Facebook page or Twitter or Instagram.

Let me tell you a story.

I'm part of a closed mom's group on Facebook. When I say 'closed' it means that you need to be a member of the group to comment or see any posts. We discuss a whole bunch of things from education to politics to family dynamics. One member decided she was going to tell us all about her mother-in-law and how much she just couldn't stand the woman. A few days later, the same member came back online and was vex. Someone had screen-grabbed her post and sent it to her husband...who was understandable upset.

Why the story? To highlight that nothing on social media is private.

Let me say it louder for the people in the back, NOTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA IS PRIVATE.

Don't fool yourself with privacy settings or the comfort of closed groups. Your information is still available. Your personal social media is for your friends and family, but strangers can potentially access it and make judgements about you or splash your comments or posts across the internet without any context, possibly destroying your brand.

So what do you do? Well, you don't have to muzzle yourself. You can still have spirited conversations and post interesting things, but always remember--before you hit post--will what I'm communicating through this post, backfire if my clients were to read it? How does this sound out of context? Can my competitors use this to weaken my business? Will my donors question my trustworthiness by reading this?

Whatever you post is a reflection of you and you will have to defend it if gets out to a broader audience.

Be smart. Curate your posts. Be ready to defend yourself if you post something controversial. And definitely don't rely on your social media's privacy settings because nothing on the internet is ever private.

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