Don’t let social media damage your personal brand, career

People should ensure that their profiles on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter don’t damage their personal brands, says Guy Lundy, futurist and CEO of think tank Accelerate Cape Town.

“Social media is a blessing and a curse. It is a fantastic way of getting your brand out there. It is a fantastic way of sharing who you are with the rest of the world. But be sure that social media doesn’t break you down,” Lundy said during a recent networking session in Cape Town.

He suggested that people should untag unflattering photos of themselves, because potential clients and employers often use social media networks to learn more about a person. “If there is a picture of you at a party falling all over yourself on Facebook, untag yourself. People do use social media to find out about you before they meet you. The thing that I find often these days is when someone comes to meet me, often they have already Googled me to see what my organisation is doing.”

Jo-Ann Strauss, former Miss South Africa, TV presenter and businesswomen, who also participated in the session, agreed with Lundy’s remarks. She explained how she once wanted to hire an assistant, but after seeing improper pictures of the person on Facebook, she decided against it.

At first Lundy was sceptical about Twitter, but now sees it as an important business tool. He says he refrains from tweeting about personal issues. “I had a PR company wrote a Twitter strategy for me, and it worked out very effective. I have around 1,000 followers now. I specifically use Twitter as a communication tool from a work perspective. I do not say, “Good night Tweets.” When I’m going to bed, I’m going to bed. I’m not going to share that with the rest of the world . . . I use it as a business tool.”