Social Media is just such a challenge sometimes.

There’s a part of me that envies the voice-actors who eschew the whole thing.  However, I chose early on to use the many popular online platforms for a big thrust of my marketing, so I find it hard to ignore. But as with any other institution populated by human beings — “new media” is full of politics, fits and starts, and a good deal of flailing around as it continues to try to find itself.

The disarming thing about online discourse is that you can sometimes get TOO comfortable…too trusting.  Facebook is designed to encourage interaction, conversation, and as they say:  “engagement”.  It’s mostly populated by friends and colleagues (followers), and it’s easy to relax and forget some cautions that should always underscore your behavior there. 

FACING FACTS

FaceBook groups, especially, can be a rich source of relationships and information,  where people can rub shoulders with peers and mentors. But freelance business people should also remember their responsibilities TO those peers, clients, and associates IN those virtual enclaves.

I administer a number of online VO groups, and it’s left me with an appreciation of the limits of printed conversations (lacking verbal and emotional nuances).  Humor and sarcasm is especially hard to convey with authenticity…no matter how many emoticons you use.

But beyond all that, there are some foundational business practices that bear repeating within the context of social media.  One is that you must be careful not to share things that still bear the weight of trust.  In other words, discretion is the better part of valor when it comes to re-purposing content that has been deemed confidential.

PROMISE GATE-KEEPERS

No “private” or so-called “secret” FB groups can deliver on those promises.  Once posted to any location on any internet-enabled platform, you have forever forfeited any control of the content.  

Why?  Because,some members of those groups may decide to take it upon themselves to share information outside the privacy of the group for often well-intentioned reasons (or not).  I can tell you that as an administrator, it’s exceedingly difficult to squelch this kind of activity, or to pre-empt the admission of people who may abuse their privilege of membership in the group.

Also, whether you know it or not, interested parties (clients, agents, producers, etc.) “ghost” those forums.  They lurk, they watch, they take notes.  These are people who are in a position to help you with opportunities.

Be careful, folks. If you have ANY reason to hesitate, or you find yourself hiding behind the anonymity of your keyboard on virtual real estate…count to ten.  Or better yet, wait 24 hours.  If it’s that important, it can probably wait a day, and by then you will have had the advantage of a measure of discernment.

 

CourVO

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