Beware of Instant Communication

I recently interviewed the CEO of Boloco, John Pepper, for my Forbes column about his use of social media in building his corporate brand name. He ran into a situation on Twitter where one of his employees complained about the company and he joked about firing her, which caused an immediate backlash by his followers. I asked him for his opinion on instant communication and how that can severely damage a brand long-term. He answered by saying “One disadvantage to instant communication is that the ease of communicating can sometimes result in mis-communicating.” We react so quickly sometimes that we forget how we might come off. The perception that we build online by what we publish can have a negative effect on our brand.

My literary agent, Jim Levine, emailed me an article that he read in the New York Times called “Please Stop Sharing.” The article opens by mentioning that the Gen-Y aides under Representative Rick Larsen were laid off because of their antics on Twitter, stating that they are drinking and watching videos on taxpayers’ dime. Research states that people are sharing more now than ever before and they are willing to sacrifice privacy in the process. Social media is instant and it’s hard to take back status updates once they are out there in internet land. I advise you to be careful the next time to publish because you never know who will end up reading it and what will happen as a result.


Author: Dan Schawbel is the Founder and Managing Partner of Millennial Branding.

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