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The power and risk of social media 14 May 2015

Social media such as Facebook can be both powerful and risky for businesses.

Powerful because it has the ability to reach a wide audience instantly and risky for the same reason. What’s important to business people is what goes onto Facebook, as our example.

Remember, what you post goes public (unless you adjust your privacy settings). So you can promote your product or service to your heart’s content. However, observe the same rules of good writing and comprehension as you would for any print publicity. Bad writing indicates sloppy work practices, whether the work is or not.

Other risks come with the messages you convey. Sacking a staff member “because things are tight at the moment” and posting a photo showing you at Lake Taupo on your new boat will not sit well with staff. Beware especially of business functions, where everyone can take photos on their cell phone and post on Facebook. Do you look drunk or overly friendly with a staff member? 

Staff, too, need to be careful. Employers and especially prospective employers check social media to what sort of person they might have on staff. Griping about work on Facebook or posting a fun photo at the rugby when they’ve called in sick is a sure path to the door.

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