There are over 3 billion social media users on the planet. While social platforms bring us together and provide incredible opportunities for individuals and businesses to earn money and raise their profile, there are risks involved. If you enjoy posting, this guide is packed with essential tips to help you share safely.
Creating public and private profiles
One of the most crucial steps to take when creating new accounts or profiles is to decide whether you want your profile to be public or private. People use social media for many different purposes. If you want to connect with friends and keep in touch with people, posting the odd photograph and reacting to other peoples’ images and stories, it’s best to opt for private settings. If you’re looking to build a following, you want to become an influencer or you have ambitions to launch a brand, for example, you may be thinking about using a public account. If you do opt for a public profile, think carefully before you post. You may find that it’s best to have two separate accounts if you post both for personal and business reasons. Restricting access to content ensures that only people you know can see your posts.
Copyright and theft
When you share photographs online, you might not think twice about hitting the post button but it’s wise to be wary of risks related to copyright and theft. If your profile is open and you don’t know how to add watermark to photos, other people could use your content and pass it off as their own. Examples could range from accounts using product photos or promotional images to individuals using your content for a dating profile, for example. If you want to keep your content safe and protect your brand or business, it’s important to take steps to prevent others from stealing your images. Seek advice from experts, use watermarking methods to add brand names or handles to your photos, and consider limiting access to your profile.
Turning comments on or off
Often, when you post on social media, you get comments from friends and followers that are positive and uplifting but sadly, this is not always the case. Social media can be a place where bullying can thrive and people post comments they would probably never say to somebody’s face. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to turn your comments on or off. For private accounts where you only interact with friends and family, this may not be an issue but if you post in the public domain, it’s worth thinking about turning the comments feature off to protect your mental health.
Being on social media can enhance wellbeing and mental health by connecting us with others and facilitating interaction, contact and socialisation. Unfortunately, it is often considered a double-edged sword. Social media can also have a negative impact on how people feel and their self-esteem and it can make you compare yourself to others and put pressure on yourself to look a certain way or create certain types of posts. Social feeds only ever show a snapshot or a glimpse of real life, and it can be misleading. If you start to feel that using social apps affects your wellbeing, consider limiting the amount of time you spend online, restrict access to your profile and focus on engaging with positive people who lift you up and make you feel more confident.
Creating and sharing content
Social platforms have evolved from basic networks that connect friends and relatives into more complex apps that offer all kinds of features and opportunities. Whenever you create content, think for a moment before you post. Make sure you are sharing content you want others to see and ensure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. You shouldn’t feel under pressure to share anything that you don’t feel comfortable with and you should always avoid posting anything that could have a negative effect on people who see the image, quote or clip. Be kind, use your account to enhance the relationships you have with others and stay true to yourself. It can be difficult not to get lured into a world of filters and effects, rose-tinted portraits of everyday life and content that sells but try to focus on authenticity.
Millions of us post content on social media every day. There are several advantages to using social apps but there are also downsides and risks. Before you set up a new account, create and share posts and start monitoring reactions, take these steps to protect yourself, your brand and the people around you.