The “new” Facebook Timeline was revealed to the general public in the weeks before Christmas. Instead of the initial backlash that was expected, many users have embraced the idea of a virtual scrapbook. My news feed has been full of people posting pictures of their childhood, their family, and parties. What does this mean for Social Media Managers?
It means that the field of reputation management has just gotten larger. Much larger. Here’s why.
• A Picture Tells a Thousand Words
◦ In the past, only politicians and public officials had to worry about scandalous photos cropping up. Those days are long gone. Now high school students, college applicants, and anyone who wants to keep their job has to keep on top of what photos they are being tagged in. Timeline reintroduces the world to the photos that were hidden in the forgotten realms of pages.
• Oversharing Isn’t Caring
◦ No one likes looking at photos of some else’s vacation, kitty cat, or tooth extraction. What might be okay in small doses has been taken to the extreme with Timeline. By encouraging users to share personal information, Facebook is rapidly desensitizing people to what over-sharing means. That’s going to cause a serious backlash in the coming days.
• Theft Happens
◦ Blindly friending people will get you in all sorts of trouble. One woman was robbed by a Facebook friend who headed over to her house after the woman announced on Facebook that she would be out that night. It’s not an isolated incident. Careless users aren’t always aware that unless they change their settings, their posts are public. That’s stupid and dangerous.
• Gawking Turns to Stalking
◦ Having your family members listed on the side of your Facebook page seems like the nice thing to do. It’s not. Ask any spouse of a celebrity, singer, artist, or actor. They get hit up for friend requests and have to deal with messages from jealous fans. Even if you aren’t an A-lister, linking up with your family may lead to danger.
As Facebook continues to change the online privacy game, they increase the need for Social Media Managers. The average person on the street doesn’t have time to keep up with all the Facebook changes. They are too busy using the product to come up with a concise social media strategy.
That’s where you come in.
As a social media manager who knows how to scrub someone’s social history, you can broaden your client base by helping job applicants, college applicants, and anyone who has a public profile. Many people think they understand Facebook but they don’t.
What kind of questions are you getting about Timeline? What kind of opportunities do you see for Social Media Managers?