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Lessons learned from social media stuff-ups

Social media has revolutionised the way people communicate, and everyone is still trying to work out what's appropriate and what's not

Over the last couple of years there have been many high profile cases of a company's social media campaign backfiring with embarrassing results. But whether you're in charge of a large organisation's marketing strategy or just using social media on a personal basis, the same lessons can be applied to everyone.

What goes online, stays online - forever

This is a very basic one, but many people still have trouble remembering it. Think about what future employers and colleagues might make of that party pic you're about to post on Facebook, or that tweet you're about to send mocking a workmate. Even if you later delete it, it doesn't necessarily mean it will disappear.

The customer is always right

Whether it's on social media or face to face, there's no upside to getting drawn into an abusive argument. When representing an organisation, be it a sporting club or a business, remain professional even if the other party is attempting to provoke a reaction.

Don't use social media to speak out about work issues

If you have an issue with a supervisor, colleague or the company you work for, do something constructive to address the problem rather than revealing on social media matters that should remain confidential.

Personal and professional don't mix

No matter how much you think other people will agree with you, business social media properties are not the forum to share your political opinions or personal feelings about Apple products, Mondays or whether cats are better than dogs.

Social media has revolutionised the way people communicate, and everyone is still trying to work out what's appropriate and what's not. ‘If in doubt, leave it out' is always a good approach when using Twitter and Facebook.

And if you'd like to make social media your career, TAFE NSW offers a range of courses in social media marketing.