January 21, 2015
By: Alexandra Corsi, @acorsi17
Twitter was full of blunders in 2014. Between DiGiorno Pizza’s insensitive tweet, in light of the Ray Rice domestic violence accusations, and U.S. Airways’s leak of a pornographic image. Poor online public relations decisions made headlines left and right this past year. Taking these PR fails into account, here are some ways you can start 2015 right by cleaning up your online footprint.
1. Think before you tweet.
Check out this infographic from Mashable. If you’re ever wondering whether you should post something, this is a good flowchart to help guide your decision. Almost 80 percent of employers will consider someone’s online presence before hiring them. Even if you’re not currently considering internships or job offers, thinking before you tweet, or even having two different social media accounts—one private for personal use and another public for professional use—is important for preventing future debacles.
2. Always do your research.
The reason DiGiorno’s tweet came across so insensitively was their lack of researching the meaning behind #WhyIStayed. Instead of coming off as snarky and funny, the tweet was received by Twitter users as ignorant and insensitive. Hashtags often relate to current events, so even if you do keep up with the news, doing your research before using a hashtag can prevent your tweets from coming off as ignorant and being used incorrectly.
3. Create a brand for yourself, and make sure your online profiles are consistent with that brand.
How do you want to come across to potential future employers? This is something I always keep in mind when I’m drafting a tweet. Nothing online is private anymore; between screenshotting and quote-tweeting, there are multiple ways to save someone’s tweet, even if they have deleted it. You, typically, don’t want to come across to a potential employer as a crazy party person, with the mouth of a sailor. If you want to brand yourself as a professional, hard-working public relation mastermind, make sure your social media is consistent with that brand too.
Let your 2015 resolution be to shape up your social media presence. I think that one of the main problems is that with phones and technology, people feel like they are invincible, when hiding behind a phone. Keep in mind that what you post online reflects upon you in person. Practice good personal PR and keep your social media clean!