How to Manage Your Public Image on Social Media

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social mediaThe widespread use of social media has made it easy to access a variety of information about others, such as political views, hobbies, professional experience and other information related to their personal lives.

For the new generation of entrepreneurs and job and investment seekers, it offers a great opportunity to present one's achievements and capabilities and discover new potential partners, investors, and ideas. But with this openness comes a measure of risk that could affect the investments of entrepreneurs, especially in the Arab World. 

Arab entrepreneurs should be very careful when publishing and sharing personal information about themselves and their points of view, due to the heightened sensitivity of Arab users in the region toward opposing political views, and also due to the occasional immaturity of corporate culture. Especially when companies are small, readers might directly connect the entrepreneur's point of view to the company's perspective, influencing decisions on deals and partnerships.

If you are an entrepreneur who wants to protect your business from the possibility of bad publicity, or you don’t want your company to pay the price of a misplaced comment on a  picture or status update, follow these tips:

  1. Never mix your personal and professional life on one social media:

    If you are regularly sharing personal content on social media to communicate with your friends and family, make sure to keep personal items invisible to your business partners. 

    New Arab entrepreneurs often depend on their acquaintances and friends to promote their new projects, which makes it difficult to separate between two groups on social media. However, advanced privacy settings in most social media platforms are an effective tool for separating information between friends and family and business partners. Create groups and know which you're sharing with. 
  2. Public accounts are not created for chitchat.

    Privacy options are available so you can chitchat as long as you want with your friends. However,  public accounts are a tool for entrepreneurs to share their official and company's views. Don't forget that talking too much might lead to inappropriate statements. 
  3. Avoid controversy.
    Being a well-known personality doesn't mean that you should necessarily comment on all aspects of life publically. Entrepreneurs sometimes fall into this trap, thinking that having a wide base of fans means they should be a thought leader in a variety of dimensions. It's good to be well-rounded, and important to touch upon the major developments of our day, but if the discussion isn't related to your work, and if showing your opinion is not necessary, it could be better to keep your opinions to closed circles, especially because Arab society is very sensitive to controversial topics. 
  4. Develop a unified policy regarding social media:
    Opening an account on social media is a must for your company. In addition to the publicity and the new clients this will bring you, having a public account allows you to deliver important messages to your clients or clarify official points of view in specific situations. Managing companies' official accounts needs an experienced person so it neither bores nor spams your followers, and employees understand what is appropriate to post and what is not.  
  5. Monitor the activity of your employees on social media:
    Entrepreneurs aren't allowed to monitor their employees' personal lives but they have the right to interfere if an employee's actions have a direct impact on the company. Make sure that your employees understand how to present their public image and how to distinguish their points of view from the company's.  

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