What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well, not really. Not anymore. That may be one of the best catch phrases of all time for Las Vegas, almost to the point of being over-used. However, things have changed and that phrase no longer applies…anywhere. Here’s why:
The main reason why nothing stays in Vegas any longer is simply because most of what happens in Vegas, ends up on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and now on the latest trending app, Periscope, live streaming video that posts immediately to Twitter. Here is Periscope at work and an example in my mind of what never to do. It's wrong on so many levels. A teenager in Florida driving drunk decides to stream her experience as a live online event. People who saw her drive drunk called the police and she was eventually caught and charged with DUI, but only after she crashed the car onto a curb. Fortunately for her, no one was injured. At least not physically.
How is this young lady going to recover from this incident? She will probably serve time in prison and even if she may have gotten a few minutes of fame (as her video went viral), is this the sort of attention you want? What do you think just happened to her reputation?
The reason I am writing this is because lately, I have seen an increase of social sites being misused. There is something called online etiquette. Did you know this? People are posting photos online within the newsfeed of LinkedIn–which caters to the business community–that are better suited for Facebook, Instagram or in some cases, dating or hookup sites. Think of the message you are sending to those viewing the photos. You can only imagine what men or women may be thinking when seeing photos with a sexy pose or clothing meant for night clubs. What is the business message here? Is there a business message here?
It can take a lifetime to build up an impeccable reputation and a nano second to blow it up. This is YOUR PERSONAL REPUTATION. What is even more puzzling for me is what employers are thinking? Does the company not have an online policy for posting under the company name? Is there no one monitoring the online chatter and what employees may be doing under the corporate umbrella? People, wake up!
Ladies and gentlemen (and I use those terms loosely), pay attention to the message you are putting out there. This will affect you now and in the future. What do you think prospective employers, partners, business associates and venture capitalists do when wanting to work with you? The first thing is to go online and see what information is available. I’ve worked with sites that aggregate documents and I am amazed at how easily I can dig up information on individuals and companies. Have you ever Googled your name? Maybe it's time you do this. If you were hiring someone for an executive position would you hire yourself based on what you see in the social network feeds?
We live in an era of transparency. However, you can control what others see. Post what you want others to see. If you need or are desperate for attention do so on the more private sites meant for dating or hookups. Without sounding harsh, when we get the rude awakening, it will be too late.
Take proactive steps now. Look at your business profile on LinkedIn and change your message. Not just in the textual sense but in the visual aspect as well. Post relevant articles to your industry. Present yourself as someone who is interested in what they do by providing helpful and useful information.
Look at Facebook and pay attention to the photos that you post and those you are tagged in. Is there anything there that may be too revealing or considered TMI (too much information)? So you like to party like a rock star and even though you do this on your own time away from work, posting photos of this lifestyle may not be the best way to exhibit your strengths.
Have you ever thought about the ‘likes’ you show on Facebook or groups you belong to on LinkedIn? Are you 4/20 friendly and make this public? Again, think of the message you are putting out there and how this reflects on you and the business you represent.
I hope the message is clear. Be critical of what is out there about you because if you don't do this, someone else will do it for you and that could be the beginning of the end.
Frank Guzzo is a speaker, trainer and coach at Emerging Sales Success, a sales and marketing consulting company focused on creating and building marketing solutions for businesses. The firm keeps up with trends, filters the noise and helps companies focus on building a strategy that achieves results. To learn more or to hire Frank as a speaker for your next event, call (858) 633-7177.