We’ve all seen it. Someone takes the time to build their profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They craft fun updates. Each and every day they agonize over just the right words to post. Followers and friends are added, slowly at first, then with more speed. After a lot of time and effort – a budding online presence has been established. But, out of the blue, something happens and that carefully crafted online brand falls to pieces due to one fatal mistake.

What is that mistake? Well, there are several, but the most deadly is the ‘freak out’. Celebrities have fallen prey to the online freak-out when a fan (or critic) says the wrong words. Pushes the wrong buttons.  Perhaps an intern forgets that they are using a company account instead of their personal to post something politically polarizing. Anything can happen online, just like in Vegas. The only problem? What happens on the internet truly does stay on the internet. Forever. Your online presence is permanent and can be marred by one big screw up.

When building your online brand, it is important to remember one key strategy: keep it professional. If your profiles are public, keep what you say or share on a professional level. You may want to think about creating personal, locked accounts for family and close friends on Facebook and Twitter. If not, be sure that you do not post anything that can compromise your brand. You are your brand, and so while you might add personal information, advice or opinions, remember that if you are using the account to generate professional interest and business, think twice about your contributions.


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