Amid all the excitement about my post “Top 10 “Can’t Live Without” Business Success Books” being featured on the front page of the Stephen Fry Daily News, it would have been easy to miss a very important lesson on why you should limit / screen / think about who you follow on Twitter and Friend on Facebook very carefully. Here are my “3 Compelling Reasons To Limit Who You Follow On Twitter & Friend On Facebook”
- Most of us who use Twitter & Facebook for business but who also have teenagers will have experienced the horrid sinking feeling when one of our teens (or one of their friends) forgets they are on a public forum and swears rather horribly, or proudly shows off a picture of them at a late night party with a bottle of strongbow or what looks like a “roll up” (or worse!!) in their hands.No matter how important we tell them it is, and how much my sisters reassure me that my friends of friends probably won’t be able to see it, they just totally forget to set their privacy settings, and so you end up having to hide your own childrens’ feed from your home page. It happened to me recently when one of my 12 years olds young “lady” friends used a very nasty word on her own feed, which fed onto his, which fed onto mine. Eeeuuuuuuuwwwww.
- ACTION STEP: Go and examine your own home page feed. Is there anything on there that you wouldn’t want your business associates to see? Check your privacy settings to see if you can tighten things up, so nothing any of your friends or family, or friends of friends can do or say, could embarrass you.
- But I experienced something similar with the whole Twitter / Daily News aggregator thing this week. I proudly created my Nicola Cairncross Daily News and looked fondly on as it filled my front page with glorious and varied content covering internet marketing, business success, videos of inspirational moment and speeches and right smack bang in the middle was …………… an article about a sexual practice that shall remain nameless that had been retweeted by one of my sisters from one of the erotica sites she follows.Now I’m not a prude (although they did used to joke about me being a bit Victorian Mum when I was married) but I don’t want graphic stuff about sex on my Nicola Cairncross Daily News particularly. So I’ve had to unfollow my own sister as she’s determined that, in a land of free speech, she can tweet about whatever she likes. And so she can, but not on my feed, thank you!
ACTION STEP: Go and create your own Daily News at http://Paper.li – it’s great fun. Now scrutinise your content and if you see anything you don’t like, go and unfollow the person whose name is attached to the article. Every month, go through your Twitter follows (not your followers, the people you follow) and weed out anyone who is posting questionable content – or retweeting it!
- At The Money Gym you may have noticed the absence of activity and the lack of an ezine where once we sent one out weekly, absolutely religiously. This is because we have recently been deemed by the Financial Services Authority, to “have investment influence”. However, we are not certified Independent Financial Planners and have no intention of becoming so – glorified salesmen in my opinion!This means we have to be very, very careful, in public, on our Money Gym blog, in our ezine, on Twitter and Facebook, about what we talk about in terms of potential investments. We are particularly not allowed to recommend anything or tell anyone what we are personally investing in – not a hint! This is in case some unsophisticated investor comes along, puts all their cash into something without doing their own due diligence, and then loses the lot.
We have alway been very careful, in our Terms & Conditions, to spell this out and to recommend that people take advice from their own Accountant and/or Independent Financial Planner but apparently this is not enough nowadays. Makes my business partner, Judith Morgan, absolutely furious – the Nanny State gone mad!
- The other grey area is testimonials and earnings claims, and just because we are in Europe does not meant that we don’t need to be wary of using unrealistic earnings disclaimers. We are supposed to only show “average” results from “average people” and avoid any notion that ordinary people can have extraordinary results using our programmes or systems. Sort of defeats the object of testimonials, and The Money Gym and NicolaCairncross.com have been slapped by Google Adwords and Facebook Ads as “get rich quick scam sites” much to my dismay. ACTION STEP: Think about your content, your Tweets & Facebook updates – could any of it be misconstrued as advice? Financial or medical, these seem to be the two key danger areas. If you are involved in health orientated MLM companies, you need to be very careful about this and get some advice from your upline so that you don’t stray into grey areas.
Conclusion: I don’t want you to get too tied up in worrying about this stuff, at least not to point where you are scared to take any action!
My motto has always been “It’s easier to apologise than ask for permission” so keep your content clean, don’t make unrealistic claims and back up your testimonials with proof, and you should be ok.
Love to hear your thoughts as always, just hit the “Share Your Thoughts” link there!