Socially speaking: To bash or not to bash


Last weekend, a PR colleague of mine sent me a Facebook IM about a 41 Action News need. Reporter Ali Hoxie was looking for a social media professional to talk with her about tips on speaking out on social media. The activist/hacktivist entity known as Anonymous has been active lately first calling for a social strikes on ISIS and then last week on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In the interview, Ali asked about how best to go about interacting and taking a stand using social media especially when it comes to taking on supporting or opposing a cause or candidate. I believe that for every post that lays out a well-informed argument there are hundreds of “Trump Sucks” posts that liter the socialsphere. It’s simply easier for many to sit behind their Macs or laptops and shoot arrows rather than confront in person and more importantly present a social post that builds community and inspires action.

So, how do we take a stand positively and stick out in the social space? I’d like to offer these tips:

  • Be picky with what you share.
  • That “all opinions are my own” in your profile doesn’t hold water. If you work for a company or represent an entity, you’ll still be seen in some way as representing them.
  • Think about your posts from the side of the people who follow or are connected to you. How will it come off? Are you running the risk of seeming more negative than what you’re bashing?
  • Want to really get lost in the clutter? Post something simplistic and negative without a link, photo or video to help illustrate your point.
  • When you post, are you going through the motions just ‘doing social media’ stuff or are you coming off human?
  • Whatever you post, it should be something that inspires conversation/community and is spreadable. Think sprinkler vs. fire hose.
  • Most importantly, treat your friends and followers with kindness and gratitude and show them you genuinely care about who they are.

About the author:
Marc Vasquez, APR, is the technology chair for the Social Media Club of Kansas City, a member of the Social Media Club global board and the International Association of Security Awareness Professionals board secretary. He holds the Accreditation in Public Relations credential which has been established as a way to recognize public relations practitioners. By night he is the gaming sidekick to his son @StuffJakobSays. You can generally find Marc via @vasquez007 or on LinkedIn.