Topic: Reputation

Reputation tips and tricks

Social Media Privacy Issues: How To Navigate Them 0

When it comes to recent examples of social media privacy issues, just take a quick look at the news – you’ll find something!

So what are the issues we face today, and how do we maintain social media privacy in a world of shared information?

From problems with security and data breaches, to serious consequences from users oversharing on social platforms, the relationship between privacy and social media can be strained – at best.

With people putting more and more of their lives online, privacy issues with social media is something that won’t be going away anytime soon.

We’ve been doing this for a while, and have come across plenty of social media privacy issues that plague many networks and their users. Admittedly there are a host of problems, but you can divide them into two categories:

One category comes from those who run the social network and the infrastructure of the network itself. And another set of issues come from the users themselves.

The social network and its leaders

In this case we’re talking about issues that come from the company that runs the network, as well as different vulnerabilities within the actual architecture of the site. These social media privacy issues are often part of the core fundamentals of a site, and the user cannot change them directly.

However, understanding what’s happening behind the scenes and how to mitigate risk on certain platforms will go a long way.

The number of people who have no idea how social networks operate when it comes to privacy is far too high. By becoming more aware of this aspect of the sites they use so frequently, many people would be able to adequately protect themselves from some common mistakes that come back to bite them.

Understanding the fine print

This is one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to social media privacy. Most folks don’t want to take the time to read the user agreements because it’s boring or takes a little bit of time.

While we totally agree that reading this isn’t the most fun thing to do, it’s always a smart thing to do. Once you make it a habit it really only take a few minutes to get a high-level understanding of what’s going on, and if there’s something you don’t like.

In the case of larger social networking sites, a free account often comes at a price to the user. Depending on the rules outlined in the terms of service, users often sign away their privacy rights as soon as they click “agree”.

While user data is typically used in aggregate to improve services, there’s always the chance that the terms of service allow that company to sell or share your information to third parties for profit.

Other companies are willing to shell out a lot of money for these vast amounts of data for behavioral research and advertising benefits. The owners of the site determine what kinds of information to collect from users, and how to share it.

Additionally, the terms and conditions will often change, so it’s up to you to read these agreements and understand what exactly it is that you are agreeing to. This will help you find sites with social media privacy terms that you feel comfortable with.

Technical vulnerabilities

When accepting a social network’s terms of service, you’re not only giving license to the company to track you and share insights about this as they please, but you’re also accepting any vulnerabilities within their system.

While this is by no means the intention of the network, third parties can expose different vulnerabilities within the software they use. This can mean anything from phishing scams, to contact hacks, or worse.

Additionally, when social networks allow third parties to design applications to work in tandem with these networks, there’s always a chance that the application is also vulnerable. This is a very common social media privacy issue especially on smaller networks that don’t have as many resources to stop this from happening.

This means whenever you download an app or choose to login using a social media account, make sure that you are downloading from a reliable source, and that you update it as new versions become available.

Protecting your privacy from…yourself

While data breaches are problematic, many social media privacy issues and missteps happen due to the volume and nature of what we’re posting on these networks. Making smart decisions about your privacy on social media whenever possible will limit the chances of a serious issue significantly.

While building a strong presence on social media platforms is a professional necessity in virtually all industries today, try to avoid the following:


A number of questions have been raised over the past few years when it comes to negotiating your excitement as a parent and the volume/nature of images and videos that you share of your children online.

This is without a doubt one of the most frequent social media privacy issues that we face today.

While parents posting images and videos of their children has become pretty normalized, it’s still important for parents to at least consider their children’s right to privacy (or even safety), when it comes to posting.

We are just starting to scratch the surface of the psychological effects that sharenting (parents who post and share all kinds of content about their children online) may have on children. However, there’s no doubt that this is a tricky area that requires some thought, particularly before children are able to voice their own opinions about their rights to privacy and what their parents share about them online.

Compromising your safety with overshares

When it comes to privacy issues with social media, never lose sight of your own personal safety. Even if you consistently err on the side of “private” when it comes to account settings, if we’ve learned anything from recent scandals, it’s that you shouldn’t publish or share anything that you want to remain private online.

Social media privacy can affect your real world safety as well, and that’s a problem no one wants.

When it comes to your safety in the real world, remember that what you share online can come into play. Constantly sharing where you are and what you’re doing can give criminals who want to do you harm too much information.

Are your own photos on instagram about your vacation alerting burglars that now would be a great time to break into your home? Did you just increase your chances of identity theft by tweeting out your ridiculous driver’s license picture and not blurring out your personal info?

Think critically about what you’re sharing and whether or not it’s really something that you’re ok with anyone seeing.

Sabotage your own job security

When it comes to social media privacy and your job, it’s important to remember that what you say on social media can come back to bite you at work.

Whether you post about how much you hate your job, make a comment about your boss, or post something that does not follow the core mission of your company, you can get fired for what you say online. So always remember to exercise caution when it comes to what you say online.

If you get fired for something you post online, make sure that it’s something that you actually stand by… not a mistake, not poor judgement, but a true reflection of who you are. Even if you think that what you are doing on social media is private, imagine that your boss read every post and comment.

It’s easy to have a disconnect between what we’re posting and who is reading it. So just keep that in mind when it comes to posting.

How to maintain your privacy on the large social networks

When it comes to maintaining your privacy on social networks, it’s important that you first take some time to reflect on what you are and are not comfortable with sharing, as well as your audience.

It doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all stance, but a general idea will be very helpful when it comes to avoiding many self-inflicted social media privacy issues we see today.

There’s a good chance that your feelings towards privacy on social networks won’t always be consistent and may change depending on what it is that you’re posting. Even so, it’s a good idea to see where you fall on the spectrum.

Are you a “living in a cabin in the woods with a tinfoil hat” type of person when it comes to privacy? Or do you regularly out-selfie a Kardashian? In all likelihood, you fall somewhere in-between. Even so, go through your various social media accounts and do the following:

  • Familiarize yourself with the privacy settings. There’s a lot that can be done here to help protect your privacy on social media that most users don’t even consider. For example on Facebook you can customize your settings to share or exclude content from certain people or lists. Most people only know about the “public” or “friends only” options.
  • Really consider what you’re posting – even if it’s “private”, there’s always the chance that others could see it. Is it still worth sharing? Quite often we see regrettable posts on social media become newsworthy because of a screenshot someone else took. Even if you take down whatever you posted, it could be too late. Not posting it in the first place is far more effective.
  • Stay focused on specific topics – work and a hobby you’re comfortable sharing are great topics because they are professional, but also show a bit of your personality without giving away too much information. The more you share about your personal life and sensitive information, the more you put yourself at risk for social media privacy issues.
  • Stay true to your comfort levels. That means, don’t get too personal if that’s not your style. Don’t share information if you think you’ll regret it later. If you’re on the fence about something it’s probably smart to keep it to yourself, just to be safe.
  • Treat others as you’d like to be treated. Yes, you have the right to troll anyone you want to… but how is that helping you or anyone else? Not only is it pointless, but it can come back to bite you in a big way.
  • Use best practices when it comes to account information. Always use secure passwords that are different for each account, and use a secondary email address for these accounts. In the event of a security breach this will go a long way in ensuring your most important accounts (like your primary email) are protected.
  • Don’t share your login credentials with anyone. This should be obvious, but people ignore this tip more often than you would think.

Using free software to make things easier

As you can see, social media platforms provide a great place to engage with others while developing your personal brand. They also come loaded with a number of potential danger zones when trying to maintain your privacy online and in real life.

These privacy issues with social media are not going to disappear anytime soon, which is one of the reasons why we built our DIY tool. Many people are too overwhelmed (or don’t have the time) to monitor this sort of thing on a consistent basis.

Luckily, our free tool can monitor your social media privacy and see if there’s anything out there that you might not be comfortable with. This will take save you some time and give you additional peace of mind knowing you have something looking out for your privacy at all times.

In addition to protecting you from some of the social media privacy issues we discussed earlier, our DIY tool can help you stay on track when it comes to developing a positive and effective personal brand that avoids getting too personal.

It takes you through the process of building out your online reputation by following our 3-Step Process. Build a strong foundation for your personal brand, establish authority, and maintain relevance over time.

Sign up for a free account here.

The post Social Media Privacy Issues: How To Navigate Them appeared first on BrandYourself Blog | ORM And Personal Branding.

Source: Brandyourself

Turn Tweets into Customers 0

How Small Businesses Can Use Twitter to Drive Business Results

By: Emma Vaughn

This article was originally published in Bplans, a resource to help entrepreneurs start and run better businesses.

What many small business owners don’t know about using Twitter is how they can take the conversations already happening on the social media platform to get more customers in the door.

With more and more users signing up on Twitter each day, including an increasing number of users who are 50 years old and up, Twitter is a powerful platform for getting your business in front of a large audience with varied age ranges and interests. It’s also a key platform for building relationships with people in your local area.

At Main Street Hub, our team is full of experts who are skilled at reaching out and starting conversations on Twitter on behalf of our customers. Our technology and world-class team of writers connect local business with new customers every day to get them in the door and keep them coming back. Follow these four steps of our social media marketing strategy to turn tweets into new customers.

Want to learn more about Twitter for your small business? Check out our comprehensive breakdown here.

1. Use advanced search on Twitter to target users in your area

By searching for and participating in relevant conversations on Twitter, you have the opportunity to get new eyes on your brand and get new customers.

Start by brainstorming search terms, asking yourself: Who is your typical customer? What kinds of conversations would they have on Twitter? What’s your business personality and what kinds of conversations would make sense for you to jump into? Once you have answers to these questions, you can start looking for tweets containing terms that are relevant to your business.

For example, if you own a pizza restaurant and it’s around lunch or dinnertime, use the search box in the upper right corner for the hashtag #pizza, #hungry, #craving, or #lunchtime to find people who are tweeting about wanting a meal.

Take it a step further by searching for those hashtags in your specific location with Twitter’s advanced search feature. Search by keyword, phrase, or hashtag, hit “enter,” then on the top left-hand side under “search filters,” hit “advanced search.” Here, you can add a location to specifically target people in your city, town, or neighborhood who are tweeting about their next meal, ensuring your chances of reaching out to someone who might swing by your restaurant for a visit.

The same strategy works for any industry; it’s all about finding the right search terms for the demographic you are trying to reach. If you run an auto shop, #cartrouble could be what you’re looking for, but if you own a salon, using terms like “need a haircut,” might be more effective than using a hashtag.

2. Weigh in with friendly conversation

Twitter is all about building relationships, and small businesses can leverage the social aspect of the platform to get potential customers thinking about their business when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.

When you locate a promising tweet from a user that appears to fit your target demographic, you should reach out and introduce your business to this potential new customer, and start a conversation! Respond to tweets in a personalized, engaging way to make your business seem relatable and down-to-earth. If a user you tweet to responds back, your business has a chance to get in front of all of the friends and followers of that user, which draws more attention to your business.

In the conversation below, restaurant China Xiang in NYC reached out to Twitter user Robi Ludwig, and by engaging with her about her photo, they put their business in front of new eyes and top-of-mind for potential new customers.

You can see how the business asked the user a friendly question about her and her evening to kick things off, because it’s important to start building a relationship before trying to sell something. After the user and the business had an interaction, the business went for the sell, which leads to our next step.

3. Find the right time to plug your business

The user you have connected with knows this part is coming; after all, why else would a business jump into conversations with (seemingly random) Twitter users? When it feels like the right time to plug your business, ask the user if they would ever consider trying your business, or tell them you’d love it if they would swing by next time they’re in town.

In the above example, China Xiang asks, “Keep our place in mind for next time?” Something as simple as that reminds the user that your business is friendly, personable, and potential customers should give you a try the next time they need a meal, haircut, outfit, or car repair.

Don’t forget to measure your performance on social! Check out Social Media Metrics and ROI: What Your Business Needs to Know.

4. Ask users for a post when they visit

As you can see in the below example, Twitter user Roetter #mothdad’s conversation with The Blue restaurant in Ohio gradually turns from a friendly conversation to asking when the user will come by for a visit.

Then, there’s the payoff — the user not only visits the business but also posts a photo on Twitter.

This shows the effectiveness of asking when the user will be stopping by, and asking them to snap a photo when they do visit. This will keep users engaged past your first conversation and build a relationship with the user, hopefully turning them into a loyal customer.

Plus, user-generated content is extremely effective for building brand awareness for your business and building a network of new customers. When the user in the above example posted his photo at The Blue, not only are his followers able to see this photo, but anyone searching for the hashtags #foodie and #foodstagram can see it too, and these terms are being used and searched for thousands of times per day across the country.

Not only that, since consumers trust their friends’ and followers’ recommendations on social media for where to dine, shop, and stay, seeing a glowing review of your business on Twitter might just lead to referrals and more customers coming by for a visit.

Not all conversations with Twitter users will yield wins like the examples shown here. But, even if the person you engage with on Twitter doesn’t immediately make a reservation at your cafe or head over to check out your sale, they might just click to your Twitter profile, check out your business, follow you, and look at what your business has to offer. Then, the next time they want or need your services, they’ll think of your business.

By reaching out and engaging in conversations on Twitter, you’ll add more users to your online community, stay top-of-mind with the users in your area, and ultimately, get more customers in your door.

Emma Vaughn leads Main Street Hub’s local business outreach. She hosts educational workshops and webinars to help businesses get more word-of-mouth and referrals on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Instagram.

She has cultivated partnerships with industry leaders such as SCORE Los Angeles, SBA, California Restaurant Association, Long Beach SBDC, and various chambers of commerce. Check out some of Emma’s upcoming events here!

Turn Tweets into Customers was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub

3 Steps to Grow Your Small Business on Twitter 0

Photo by Barn Images on Unsplash

Using Twitter to build relationships and engage with new customers

Twitter is a powerful platform for building relationships with people in your local area as well as reaching a larger audience, near and far, with varying ages and interests. With 328 million monthly active users, there are conversations happening right now on Twitter that your business can engage in to get new customers and grow your business.

At Main Street Hub, the marketing platform for local businesses, our team is full of experts who are skilled at reaching out and starting conversations on Twitter and helping thousands of small business owners to leverage engaging conversations on the platform to get more customers in the door.

Using insights from our social media marketing strategy for local businesses, we created this list of the actions your small business should be taking on Twitter right now to grow your business:

1.) Outreach and Conversations

By searching for and participating in relevant conversations on Twitter, you have the opportunity to get new eyes on your brand and get new customers.

Full article 

Learn more about using Twitter for your small business

Download our free guide here for step-by-step instructions to create a captivating Twitter profile, content ideas, and best practices to get your business in front of new customers!

3 Steps to Grow Your Small Business on Twitter was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub

4 Steps to a Better Instagram Presence for Your Small Business 0

How Small Businesses Can Connect with Customers Through Instagram

With 700 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms — and a great place for your small business to get creative and show off your brand’s personality.

More than 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business on the platform, so you should follow these steps built from insights from the content experts at Main Street Hub to stand out among your competition and turn your Instagram fans into loyal customers:

1.) Be you: Know your audience and keep your visual brand consistent

An effective Instagram marketing strategy will be consistent, authentic, and provide value to your followers. Being very clear about who you are as a business will inform every photo that you post and caption that you write…

Full article 

Learn more about using Instagram for your small business

Download our free guide here for expert tips on how engage your audience, optimize your strategy, and become and Instagram pro!

4 Steps to a Better Instagram Presence for Your Small Business was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub