Managing your Personal/Professional Brand: Social Media Etiquette and the overwhelming epidemic of “Oversharing”

    Sam Mutimer

    Now tell me, would you turn up to a meeting, have the customary “How was your weekend? Good thanks, how was yours?” repartee and then suddenly bring out a video of yourself from your Saturday night out with the girls where after 2 bottles of Sav you grabbed your phone half cut and filmed your own audition to Australia’s Next Top Model where you are featured screeching “Im not here to make friends I am here to winnnn!!” whilst bearing a striking resemblance to Courtney Love at 4am?
    I don’t think so. This is a symptom of the “Oversharer”
    If the previous paragraph gave you the gut wrenching fear that we have all experienced at one time or another when we wake up in a panic and think “Oh my god what did I say last night?” and for those who respect their professional personal brand this kind of content being shared is a big NO NO – albeit vastly hilarious to your friends, maybe not to a client who is looking to employ you or the company you work for to manage an online campaign for their new product launch.
    There are various social media tools that you need to consider to interpret your personal brand. Linkedin, Twitter are 2 of the tools I personally feel must be rejuvenated with current, provocative and professional content and your communication must be clear and concise. Facebook on the other hand, being a little cheekier and interactive can handle a little more frivolous information, pictures and videos of a personal nature but there still needs to have an element of quality control – Its as simple as making sure your privacy settings have got your back at all times! Advice: Don’t make your page public if you don’t want to relegate your content its as simple as that!
    If you type “Oversharing” into Google you will be hit with numbers of blogs and sites dedicated to this overwhelming vexation purely as a result of Social Media’s ability to allow the freedom of speech. It’s a global movement peeps! See below links…
    1. Â Â http://newworldword.com/overshare
    2. Â Â http://www.oversharers.com/
    Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor recently spoke about the bands involvement in the soundtrack for upcoming movie The Social Network about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and summed it up perfectly:
    “I watch people, friends of mine, and see how they portray themselves online and I find interesting that it’s kind of a hyper-real version of yourself, how you’d like to be seen, in a way. And I question the generation or two coming up who are used to engaging people in that format and wonder what the repercussions will be down the road — how human relationships will differ in an age of oversharing.”
    For full article see: http://bit.ly/bD8gxl
    Examples of Oversharing:
    1. “I can’t believe I lost my license AGAIN last night, I bet if I took Orrong Rd instead of Hotham Rd then I totes wouldn’t have been caught ..!! FML”
    2. Anything that has anything to do with:
    a) Your sex life
    b) Other people’s sex lives
    c) Anything that oozes, involves weapons, drugs or illegal activities
    d) Anything that you wouldn’t want to share with your mother-in-law
    I need to also mention that there is another affliction in the Sharing Family commonly known as UNDERsharing, which to some is more irritating than oversharing. This social media No No is boring, non-engaging, stagnant, passive and generally doesn’t promote anything news worthy and is one-way communication, kinda like spamming your own page!
    Examples of Undersharing:
    “I love clouds” – share
    “I am so pissed off right now I got woken up by workmen so I am going back to sleep” – share
    “Toast…hmmm yum” – share!!!
    This is bad. What this says to people who are interested in you professionally is that you exude the air of what is important to you must be important to everyone else.
    There is an etiquette and element of decorum that needs to be reflected and maintained when using these tools in business. Last week a professional acquaintance of mine was looking to expand her team. A certain candidate had caught her eye, on twitter the candidate was interesting and engaging, however when she looked at the candidate’s Facebook ( whether this is legal is a whole different topic which I plan to cover after some more research) was alarmed to see that her status updates were a colorful assortment of swear words, opinions about how much she hated her job and how drunk she intended to get on the weekend. Cringe.
    Needless to say, the person was not considered a moment longer purely because of how she chose to portray herself on her social network.
    I want to reiterate that this opinion is about professionals using Social Media to leverage their personal brand or professional footprint. There is always room to be cheeky and quirky, but there is a massive difference between that and being rude, unprofessional, common and vulgar and sharing things that should really be kept for special times with close friends…..
    Use the 3 C’s to keep your social media profiles professional-
    Communicative, current and as clean as possible!
    Have you any examples of oversharing or undersharing that you would like to SHARE?
    Disagree with me? Let me know why!
    @CazPringle 🙂