Social media has become a staple of modern society; and with hundreds of millions of users, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a presence on at least one platform, e.g. Facebook, Twitter.
Plus where there are millions of users, businesses want a slice of the action, so they too have a presence. Unless you’re in the wilderness where there’s no internet connectivity, it’s nearly impossible to escape the happenings on social media even when you try to ignore it.
For example, your mobile plan will likely include free social media time. Plus the platforms are free, so try as you might social media is here to stay, and you’re going to use it, especially if your work colleagues, family and friends are on it.
The challenge for users, particularly business owners, is what information to share and what should be kept private.
There is a term for sharing too much about yourself, and it’s called ‘oversharing’. In this article, let’s look at oversharing and why it pays to avoid it.
Billions of People With a Single Click
The latest figures put Facebook users worldwide at about one billion, with over 140 million businesses using the social media giant. This incredible number of people collected on a single website was unheard of before Facebook; even its predecessor, MySpace, didn’t quite reach that number during its highest point in the years 2005-2008. (MySpace still boasts millions of users, in case you were wondering.)
The alluring thing about social media is that you can garner all kinds of attention with a single post. Where you may be doing amazing things offline, and no one seems to notice, if your post goes viral, suddenly the entire world can see what you’re up to.
Humans are social animals, and the need to be recognized by our peers is well-engrained in our DNA. If you could reach millions with a single post, wouldn’t you?
A Double-Sided Coin
Perhaps the most disturbing revelation about social media’s widespread use globally is that using social media has been linked to certain mental health conditions, including depression. That’s not to say your weekly Facebook post is going to make you depressed or lonely.
Still, according to healthline, prolonged use of social media can actually increase feelings of loneliness, sadness, isolation, and depression.
Ironic, isn’t it? Even with almost a seventh of the world’s population at our fingertips, we find ourselves lonely in the presence of so much attention.
A Need to be Recognized
Many business owners love what they do and are passionate about their business, so they need to be recognized for the impact they’re making on their communities. The world can lead to oversharing.
Oversharing is simply the wantto have your efforts noticed by the world at large, and, in turn, hopefully, draw more customers. Business owners have something to say, and the more people they can reach, the better.
Sometimes, personal opinions can get mixed in, causing backlash. There’s a saying that goes, “no publicity is bad publicity”, so this could be the thought process behind controversial posts such as political opinions.
The problem business owners run into (especially with political posts) is that there is usually fervent opposition from the other side of things, which can cost the business potential or current customers’ business.
Personal and Business Life
It can be tough to separate business and personal life, especially if your social media pages are linked. Many business owners make the mistake of connecting personal and business accounts, and what gets posted on one is usually seen on the other.
Separating business and personal life is crucial for preventing personal feelings from getting in the way of running a business.
We’ve all got an older relative who likes to share too much on social media, perhaps not understanding the unspoken “rules” that come with a public page. The fact is, some people don’t want to hear about personal things; especially if they’ve come to a page to research a business’s practices or products.
Imagine you’re considering buying a new product from a brand you’ve heard about. It’s supposed to be a high-quality product from a reputable company. Still, when you visit the business’s Facebook page, the owner posts all kinds of derogatory things on their page and personal business. Would that make you consider the brand further, or log right off the page?
Save it For the Personal Page
If you’re running a business, there should be an unspoken rule that you never mix business and personal affairs; especially on your social media pages. This can be a huge turn-off to your customers and potential customers, and quite frankly, it feels very unprofessional. Keep personal opinions to yourself and save them for your own page.
Sharing personal opinions with customers simply isn’t good business, and you’re responsible for maintaining a professional image across all of your social media platforms.
Additionally, anything you share on social media stays there, even when you delete it. Archives are kept, screenshots can be taken, and you may never recover from a bad post. Remember that being online comes with its own level of responsibility, and if you want your customers to respect you, keep it professional.