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5 Career-Threatening Social Media Mistakes You Could Be Making

By now, you should know that social media can have a huge impact on your professional life. You've probably heard more than a few horror stories about people whose careers have gone down the drain because of a social media indiscretion. Here's a list of some potentially job-threatening social media mistakes you should be avoiding:

• Eliminating Social Media Altogether: Some people are so afraid of the effects of social media that they avoid it altogether. What they don't know is that staying off social media is just as bad as social media oversharing. Why? Social media is one of the top recruiting tools used by employers today. If you're not on social media, you're missing tons of job opportunities.

• Not Knowing Your Company's Social Media Policy: Every company has a different stance on social media. I once worked for a very large, very well-known company that banned its employees from identifying their workplace on Facebook in order to minimize legal issues and maintain a good public image. That said, it's important to know your company's social media policy so you can avoid breaking it.

• Using Poor Grammar and Spelling: A personal pet peeve of mine, nothing is more off-putting to an employer than a job applicant with poor language skills. If you don't use proper grammar in your status updates and tweets, how is a potential employer supposed to take you seriously? U R 2 old 4 this. Srsly.

• Impulse Posting: I admit that I have fallen victim to the impulse post more than a few times during my social media reign. It's important to think about how others will receive your social media updates before posting them. Emotionally-charged status updates or inappropriate tweets could be considered offensive. Steering clear of these types of posts will prevent you from appearing unprofessional in your boss' eyes.

• Treating All Social Networking Sites the Same: You shouldn't try to engage with all social networking sites the same way. Understanding the difference between a status update, a tweet and a LinkedIn posting is important. The next time you come across something you'd like to share with your network, take some time to reflect about what social network is the most appropriate avenue to get your information out.

There is no set list of rules when it comes to what is appropriate for social media and what is not. At the end of the day, it is up to you to make sure your social media activity doesn't alienate employers or potential employers. For more helpful social media advice, turn to IMP Canada. With our knowledge and experience, we can help you develop a good understanding of the wonderful world of social media!

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