How to Avoid Online Backlash and Knowing When to Shut Up

Knowing When to Shut UpDo you ever think that sometimes you talk before you think? Or have you ever wondered if past topics or conversations will come back to haunt you? Below, I want to share: How to Avoid Online Backlash By Knowing When to Shut Up.

These days with a lot of conversation online, it is no wonder how people end up in hot water. Each and every day, we chat, share, tweet and comment on anything from blog posts, to news articles. Everyone has something to say, but is what we say something we should keep to ourselves?

Is My Behavior Affecting My Bottom Line and Is it Worth the Impact?

You have heard stories of bloggers getting into hot water over topics and articles on their blog or forums. As much as I believe in free speech, is it easy to forget who we work for? If you work for a major brand or any company for that matter, what you say does matter.

I might be wrong, but I represent the brand I work for and I am cognizant that what I say might hurt my companies brand or shed a bad light on me personally.

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Social Media has become the forefront for conversations about anything news worthy to our readers. The problem I think we forget is: You are your brand. Scary huh?

Think about that party picture that gets posted on your Facebook page for the world to see. You think your profile is set to “private” and soon forget that people you do business with is your “friend” on Facebook.

What we do now, might not be what we want to do professionally ten years from now. There is no guarantee that what we put online now is something we might be comfortable with 1 year from now.

You ever walk up to a woman that looks pregnant and ask (thinking you’re friendly) when she is due only to find out that she is not pregnant? Ouch! Believe me, I have put my foot in my mouth many times for this one and you’d think I would know the difference. I walk away feeling like I want to put a gun to my head (not literally).

Recently, I heard about a well-known blogger I like get into hot water over a tweet they made that caused them to lose their job. What was so saddening about the entire situation is that they included a picture of the culprits with a not so nice comment behind it.

Regardless what the context behind it all meant, people lost their jobs as a result and the online backlash hurt their brand in the end. Job loss and reputation burned.

I have no complaints here, because I like to think I do too, but I do have limits. I am always conscientious of my audience, the language I use and how I write. Veering from that scares people because they are not used to that. You need to respect the intelligence of your readers.

Are there any particular blogs that you read that bend the degree of language more often than not? Did they start their blog that way or did it evolve into that? Even those bloggers know their limits and are able to get their point across brilliantly without offending the masses.

One thing that just bugs me is meeting someone and they project a prim and proper image to the masses, but on their social network, they end up sounding like a sailor or vice versa. Don’t get me wrong, I might use a few “seasoned” words every once in a while, but again: you are your brand.

Don’t put anything online, you don’t want to see on the Huffington Post. (Just saying)

The internet is NOT forgiving and once you say it online, you can’t take it back. Especially, if it is on social media. Content gets shared fast and what you say in 5 minutes might be shared with thousands in a matter of seconds. Our core business ideas is what attracts the readers we have now; once you change, then all hell breaks loose. Don’t be that guy.

Question: Have you ever put your foot in your mouth? How did you fix the damage? Am I off base? What say you?