Into the Breach: An Open Letter to Online Privacy

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Photo: Cristian Dina

I know conducting business on social media is overwhelming. There are many platforms, each with its strengths and weaknesses, and learning new platforms can be a time-staking process. This letter is for you and outlines the need to promote your business on social media and introduce you to best practices to keeping yourself safe.

First, before I delve deep into social media strategies, let me share with you my story. My digital art and media company, DFurt Arts, is named after my name, Drew Furtado. I’ve felt the same anxieties and trepidation that you currently think. I remember how much fear I had about promoting my business on social media. Once I developed the strategies I’m about to share with you, I found social media promotion advantageous.

Social Media Marketing

Billions of users are using social media platforms daily. Marketing to these potential customers is paramount. Without social media marketing, you could be alienating and missing a massive audience of people who desperately need your services.

If you’re not telling your story, who will?

You cannot rely on people to tell your story for you, nor can you rely on others to promote your services if you’re not willing to promote yourself.

Choose a platform

There are hundreds of social media platforms, and each has its own set of pros and cons. For example, while engaging with billions of users on Facebook appears enticing, it might be challenging to engage with users unless you’re paying Facebook for sponsored promotions. If short, timely posts fill your needs, Twitter might be the best solution, and if your company is image-dependent, Instagram might be the place to share your content.

While many platforms exist, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to be on every platform. Choosing one platform can alleviate the overwhelming feeling and maximize your energy when sharing and producing content.

Remain Safe

Once you’ve chosen a platform to engage with an audience, it’s essential to take the following steps to protect yourself.

Don’t Disclose Personal Information

When posting on social media, it’s essential never to share important personal information.

  • Don’t share the address of your residency.
  • Never share your birthday, social security numbers, or other information such as credit card information.
  • Keep your posts limited to your business objectives.

Keep Passwords Hidden

Your social media password should be something unique that no one will be able to guess. Avoid using first or last names, personal identifiers such as nicknames or birthdays, and always use a combination of uppercase letters and symbols.

The last thing you want to deal with is someone hacking into your social media account and posting or soliciting spam messages on your behalf.

Post Authentically

Your posts should represent your personality and should be crafted with business goals first. There are three good rules to remember when posting on social media: Post regularly, post frequently, and post with your voice.

Gohar Khan, the author of Social Media Analytics, reminds users of ways to protect themselves from legal issues while posting on social media, including:

  • Never reveal personal and senestive information about another person.
  • Never use social media to intimidate, harrass or threaten people.
  • Never post offessive or obsene material.
  • Don’t cause harm or incite violence
  • Post with people’s dignity in mind. Avoid comments that attack people’s race, gender orientation, or disability.

Post Original Posts

Finally, to keep yourself safe while promoting your services on social media, your posts must be original content. Create your media to avoid any copyright and plagiarism issues.

If you’re using someone else’s work, be sure to have permission from that user first and tell your audience who created that content. Be transparent in these posts because people can and will threaten legal actions against those who steal content.

Go forth and be bold

Let me remind you: “you can do this.” As terrifying as it is to promote your services on social media, there are people out there who desperately need your skills and abilities. You can keep yourself safe, your followers safe and improve the lives of everyone that interact with you on social media.

Into the breach with courage, my friend,

-Drew

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