Social Media Issue

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    Henry Brown

    Personal Awareness in a Social Media World

    09.22.2010 | Colleen Moffitt

    By now most people on Twitter understand they should not tweet information they would not be willing to say into a microphone. There have been countless examples to illustrate how even if you don’t have a lot of followers, a tweet can reach a broad audience.

    In the 1990s people learned valuable lessons about communicating via e-mail with unintended flame mails, attempted humor that was misunderstood, or accidentally hitting reply all when the message was intended for only one person. Social media presents similar challenges.

    One specific challenge that has not been widely discusses is considering the perceptions created by a post or tweet. As a PR professional, perhaps I am more focused on perceptions than most. However, I think it is important for people engaging in social media to consider not only what they are communicating, but how that information may be perceived by others. Short messages of 140 characters do not afford an opportunity to provide context and individuals who do not know you may misinterpret your message.

    We all need to consider how information we share will be received by multiple audiences. It is not enough to ask, “Is this information appropriate for broad dissemination?” Instead, one must think about how people will feel when they see the information being shared.

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