Your Personal Post Profile
So, there’s this guy. His name is Mark Cuban. He’s an investor/businessman/sports team owner/theatre owner/philanthropist. Heard of him? Probably. Anyway, he is working on some apps that seek to remedy what he sees as the “biggest mistake” anyone can make on social media. Put VERY simply, this mistake is letting your posts live forever. The problems he sees with this are mainly from an individual social media user standpoint, but listening and reading about it, I feel that this can apply to businesses as well.
By “letting your posts live forever”, we are not talking about riding a successful post for as long as possible. We simply mean posting it and forgetting about it. But why would this be a bad thing? No one really cares about it after a certain amount of time anyway, why does it even matter? It actually matters much more, especially in the business world, than you might think.
Cuban sees social media in the future as being literally a part of everyday life. Like, to the level of live human-to-human interaction. In essence, what you post on ANY social media service will soon be able to be run through algorithms and you will be given a profile based on your activity. So, that angry post that you put up ten years ago on Myspace when you were mad at somebody and you said that you want to kill them will be taken into account when people search for you. That retweet about Justin Bieber’s mugshot will show up. Anything that you have done will be used to paint a picture of you, which people will be able to use either for you or against you.
Now, businesses don’t usually post anything controversial like that on their pages. But individuals do all the time. And when it is revealed that you are the owner of, say, an interior decorating business, potential customers will be able to see who you are as a person based on your individual social media activity. When your “profile” generalizes you based on your retweets five years ago, customers are going to associate that profile with your business and, based on if they feel okay about it or not, choose to either buy or run away.
The danger lies in that the lines between “personal life” and “work” are vanishing. Even if you are really good at keeping your personal business out of your work, your compiled social media profile will make your personal life the sole determinant for a customer on whether or not to buy from you.
With this impending new “compiled social profile”, technologies will come out to counteract it. Cuban is working on some right now. But until these technologies are available, all we can do is a) be as careful as possible with what you post on your individual profiles, and b) find and delete your past posts, especially if they represent the person you used to be ten years ago.
– Alec England, Columnist, Centerlyne