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Virginia Cairrao, CDA, FADAA, is the president of the American Dental Assistants Association
Are you a Social Media Misfit? Here are 10 simple social media do’s and don’ts from Virginia Cairrao, CDA, FADAA, president of the American Dental Assistants Association, that will help you tiptoe around those kinds of pitfalls and help you stay a step ahead in your digital tracks.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and Reddit. These are several of many social media sites where people post pictures, comments and profiles.
Do you participate in any of these? Have you ever given yourself a once-over?
Regardless of your experience or job history, keeping your social media profiles and comments professional can save you from losing out on a great opportunity or embarrassment because you are being a social media misfit. Here are 10 simple social media do’s and don’ts that will help you tiptoe around those kinds of pitfalls and help you stay a step ahead in your digital tracks.
1. Get active on social media outside of work hours
Don’t get nabbed posting on Facebook or Snapchat when you should be tending to a patient or pouring up a model. Know the rules for the use of a cell phone and computer while at work.
2. Highlight your talents, unique skills, interests and accolades
Employers seeking new recruits are looking for well-rounded professionals involved in different professional groups, activities and volunteer efforts. Just like the rest of us when we are searching information, employers are typing in keywords when they search to streamline their time spent, so be sure to include specific words and phrases that match the qualifications of opportunities you are seeking. List only truthful information-everything is verifiable in this digital age.
3. Use correct grammar and spelling
4. Join industry groups that meet your interests to keep the spark in your passion
5. Start an intellectual discussion, post informative information
As you work to manage your reputation, be active online in ways that reflect well on you as a professional. You can pump up your reputation in unlimited ways.
Next page: What NOT to do ...
1. Post inappropriate images or statements
Once the information is out there…it is somewhere forever.
2. Post overly opinionated content whether work-related or not
Honesty is often the best policy, however, to remain neutral especially when it comes to political and religious issues. It’s really easy to appear as extreme, close-minded or judgmental when posting highly opinionated content. Unfortunately, once something is posted, it is difficult to retract it.
3. Complain about current or past employers, groups or organizations
Yes, the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution guarantees us freedom of speech and that gives you the right to discuss a host of different issues with friends, colleagues and co-workers in most community situations.
4. Be offensive or react negatively
Steer clear of posting, tweeting or commenting on anything that could potentially be offensive or distressing. It might sound like common sense but, sadly, it happens far too often to leave off the list. Staying neutral and keeping your comments, likes and shares appropriate should protect you from having to wonder if what you post might be seen as inappropriate or offensive. Too often our emotions can play a role in what you post. Keep your emotions in check.
5. Spend too much time on social media
After harnessing your online persona, go out and live it! Practice what you preach, get out there and spread your passion for the profession of dental assisting!
These social media do’s and don’ts in this list may seem intuitive or even obvious. As you continue the journey of maintaining your professional image online, following suit off-line will be a natural progression and prepare you for life’s challenges. However, if the worst happens and your good name is tarnished across social media in a way that destroys your credibility and image you may need to take immediate action. One of the best ways to correct a damaged reputation is to clean the slate and create a new name to use online, not to try to undo what you’ve done with your given name. Digital profiles can be reestablished and content across the Web using perhaps a slightly different name, perhaps your middle name as your fist name or first initial. Then carefully safeguard this identity as you move on with your life.
Keep this list in mind every time you visit a social media site and “think before you post”-remember-you don’t want to be a social media misfit.