Social Media can be both a gift and a curse. For people who have built their businesses online, it is the only way that they can continue to reach their target audience. But what happens when the constant posting and updates backfire? Kim Kardashian West has built her entire brand off of being visible at all times. The multimillionaire reality television star is known for flaunting her extravagant lifestyle all over the media. A lifestyle that some say may have contributed to her recently being robbed at gunpoint while in Paris. While Kim is not the only celeb who consistently posts updates about their latest purchases and current whereabouts, she has indeed become a target for people wanting to take advantage of her.
So what do you do when you are an online personality who ONLY flourishes with a lifeline to social and mainstream media? What do you do when grassroots marketing is not an option for you? Well, unless you are willing to suddenly switch careers, the only option is to continue utilizing social media, but with a more refined strategy. Most of us who are avid social media users can't afford to beef up our security detail like Kim, so instead we have to take matters into our own hands. We have to be smart in how, what, when, and why we post.
Uploading a photo or blog post on social media sounds pretty easy right? Well, uploading the content is the easy part. Altering the content is what's tough. When posting online, especially on your personal accounts, be sure to pay attention to location trackers. Lots of smartphones will automatically install geo-trackers, which record your location whenever you take a picture. You can easily remove this option in your settings. Once you've done this, be sure to also pay attention to the settings on your social media profiles. These platforms will also record your location and time of posting unless you customize the settings.
Be intentional about what you post. Unless your business deals with opulence and luxurious locales, it is not important for you to post photos or videos about your extravagant personal belongings. Not only does it entice thieves, but it also may send the wrong message. If your brand boasts about humility or cutting costs, posting a photo of your new Valentino boots is probably a post that you can skip.
Let's say that you are absolutely, positively compelled to post that photo of your new Valentino boots. The decision to post is ultimately up to you, but that doesn't say that you have to post it in real time. Millions of people all over the world are constantly uploading pictures from their dream vacations or lavish dinners, only to discover a home invasion because thieves knew that they weren't home. You can still post those photos, but post them at a later date. Make sure that you let people know that your home or office is occupied and/or equipped with security precautions.
Think again about your reason for posting before you hit that publish button. What is the end goal for you after you publish that update? Perhaps you actually do want people to know where you are in real time. In this case geo-tracking actually comes in handy. Want to get those last minute ticket sales for your event? Then by all means, add your location and invite them to join you. Just make sure that once you are done utilizing that option, to turn off or alter your location. Some social media users have even installed apps that give a false location to their audience. This allows the user to broadcast on platforms like Periscope with a larger reach, without compromising their privacy.
It's important to research all of the details on all of your social media platforms before using them. Check out the features under the settings to check and see if your location is automatically updated, and go back through your posts periodically to make sure that a location wasn't accidentally posted without you knowing. Like any other good business tool, there are always a couple of drawbacks. Social Media doesn't have to be scary if done properly. It only takes a little bit more planning and effort on our parts to make sure that we are doing it right. And while a security breach can happen to even the most careful person, it is better to put in the effort to ensure your privacy beforehand.
Have you ever been the victim of a security breach on social media? What steps did you take to ensure your safety?