Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Social Media Sharing: When is it TMI or Just Good Business?

I was recently criticized by an associate for "living my life" on Facebook. Today I came back from a very productive meeting with a Facebook connection who observed me for approximately six months before he pulled the trigger on a meeting. He is not the first business associate to use Facebook as a tool to keep an "eye" on a prospective business partner or employee. In the course of our conversation we discussed the whole Facebook "thing," and he made some interesting comments that I don't want to digress off the topic. So the question of being one of those people who lives their lives on Facebook I'm going to shove in the cubby hole I'll call "and that's your opinion". Here is my opinion: I do think there is a fine line between TMI and smart business. I do think there is a balance to strike.

People like to work with people they like. So meaningless fluff or comments that border on salacious or inappropriate fall into what I call TMI and will actually hurt business. Making comments about your private parts, for example, TMI and just plain tacky. If you can appraise the comment you're about to post with the answer, "No, most people don't need to hear about that..." then use your internal barometer and don't share it. In business (and here is my opinion again) most people don't need to hear about or see your "goodies" (as Kirk likes to call them) nor do they need to hear about or see comments about other people's "goodies" or any manner of inappropriate behavior you would cover your mom's ears to say. In fact, if you wouldn't say it to your mom maybe that is the correct gauge of what you should or should not post in polite society.

Even if it's your personal page, please realize you never know who is reading it or who could read it (prospective business or employers). If you're trying to do business, my recommendation is use the "Mom Meter" before freeing up your fingers to type something that in most cases does nothing more than attract negative attention. And if you're seeking "negative" attention then perhaps a good trip to the handy-dandy therapist's office might be better time spent. Besides if you're trying to attract attention from the opposite sex, what kind of person do you think that kind of stuff is going to draw in? Perhaps not a quality person ... just saying.

So where is the line? Keep the human interest angle. Everyone likes pictures of people, babies and animals. Be interesting and funny. Share your wins. Share information to inspire and make people think. Share your business acumen and successes. Be relevant. Outside of that information, just use the "Mom Meter" to determine the answer to a questionable post. You can't fail with the "Mom Meter" unless your mom is a foul-mouthed crazy person and that's my big LOL for the day :).

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