Firm News

To Post or Not to Post? That is the Question

February 2, 2018

What we can learn in the age of over-sharing

Whether used for personal communication, self-promotion or marketing, social media is a compulsory part of our daily lives. Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube provide a platform for brands and consumers to have a voice – allowing users to share every detail of their lives and brands to shape their own image. However, in the age of “pics or it didn’t happen,” some are faced with finding the perfect balance between over-sharing and being overlooked.

Take one of YouTube’s highest-paid stars, Logan Paul, for example. On Dec. 31, the 22-year-old vlogger came under fire for filming himself discovering a dead body hanging in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, also known as “suicide forest.” The backlash raised concerns over Paul’s nonchalant attitude when deciding to upload the video to his more than 16 million subscribers. In his apology posted to Twitter, Logan states that his intention for the video was to “raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention;” though he is seen laughing and joking with friends in the 15-minute video.

After losing sponsorships and facing criticism from viewers, peers, and the media, Paul took a break from social media. In his first interview since the controversy, Paul sat with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan Thursday morning (Feb.1) to speak out about “the hardest time” in his life. “I will think twice in the future about what I post, probably three times, four times, or more," he said.

But what if you're not a multi-million dollar YouTube star? Over-sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram likely won't result in a whirlwind of controversy and head-turning headlines but it can lead to devastating consequences.

Here are three questions for brands and consumers to ask before sharing on social media:

1.What is the message I want to send with this photo?

There’s a reason a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s important to think how your audience will perceive your post and to consider who may be watching and/or listening. Are your coworkers following you? Are you brand with followers from all over the world?

2.Is this a moment to protect?

Not every moment needs to be shared but before you do, take into account all involved. Will friends or colleagues be embarrassed or offended by what you’re sharing? Think about if the post will bring unnecessary or unhelpful controversy to you or your brand before pressing ‘send’.

3.Is this the right time?

For brands, posting at the “right” time may be in relation to the competition or based on peak times gathered by analytics. Numbers aside, it should also be based on what’s happening in the world and on social media. Take this into consideration before posting while your target audience is asleep or for sharing highly insensitive posts in the height of a crisis.

Just remember: 15 minutes of laughter can lead to a lifetime of regret. Think before you share.

Tayla Young is an intern at Bond Moroch.