We have all seen it, and we have all cringed while — more likely than not — reloading our Facebook news feeds to see if anyone has commented on it. What is “it?” It is the status or Facebook post that is so personal it’s embarrassing… or delightfully entertaining, depending on your perspective. While it can certainly be a big deal when one of our relatives or friends doesn’t know where to draw the line on social media, it can be downright disastrous when a public figure, organization, or business makes that same mistake. Soon, South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford may face the consequences of oversharing on Facebook.
Sanford’s Facebook Breakup Raises Eyebrows
“In the rambling Friday afternoon Facebook post, Sanford announced how he plans to deal with being sued—again — by his ex-wife, over the visitation schedule for their sons, and that he has called off his engagement to his former mistress,” The Daily Beast writes. This is not an exaggeration. The politician rambled about his personal life on the social media platform for 2,343 words! Sanford even waxed philosophically about history and Jesus before really getting into it.
Why This Was Such A Critical Misstep
Some may dismiss the congressman’s rant as vaguely inappropriate and, let’s be honest, unintentionally hilarious. It is a much bigger deal than people might think. The infamous social media post has some speculating about Sanford’s possible drug or alcohol abuse — and, in some cases, even his mental health. In other words, social media specialists advise businesses, organizations, politicians, and any one in the public eye with a reputation to maintain to tread very carefully online.
True — social media is hardly the only aspect or factor in a business or figure’s online presence. Things like official websites, online content, reputable search engine optimization, or even pay per click web advertising can influence perceptions of an organization, celebrity, or figure online. Even so, responsible social media marketing management (or some training from social media marketing consultants) is just about necessary. Social media specialists can help businesses and figures build a positive online presence — and advise against actions like Sanford’s that may require some messy backpedaling down the road.
Do you know what you’re doing on social media? Are you guilty of a Sanford-esque misstep? Before creating a professional persona online, make sure you know what is and what is not appropriate to share on Facebook. Check out this site for more.