I admit it. I enjoy reading Facebook posts. I know people complain that we don’t need to know what a friend from high school had for breakfast or how a former co-worker’s child has conquered potty training, but I enjoy it. And as much as I dislike radicals on the left and the right, I’m still entertained by their vitriol and emotional, albeit mindless rants.

What I don’t like seeing on Facebook is otherwise respectable people destroying their personal brands. And yet, we all see it everyday.

Earlier this week, I read a post from an executive in a large company that was completely inappropriate. Attached to the post was a picture of the otherwise respectable business leader acting like a drunken fool at some random party. I was shocked that this well-educated, seemingly intelligent and mature person would post something that reflected so poorly on their personal brand, not to mention their corporation.

Ask any employer, one of the greatest tools these days when considering a new hire, is the Internet. A person who has a brilliant resume can ruin his or her chances of getting a job if the first thing a potential boss finds on line is the individual acting like a imbecile guzzling brew from a beer bong.

The message here isn’t to sit at home and never let your hair down. It’s simply to protect your brand. Try to keep your friends from posting pictures that make you look more like a mess than a Mensa. And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t post pictures of yourself doing stupid stuff or anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see or read.

This isn’t rocket science. In fact, I thought this was a nugget of wisdom I only needed to share with college kids, but posts like the one I saw earlier this week indicate otherwise. So to readers young and old, protect your brand and use social media to your benefit rather than your detriment.

Question of the week:
What are some posts you’ve seen that have damaged personal or business brands?


Kendall Tenney is a four-time Emmy-Award winning journalist who now runs 10e Media, a full service marketing and public relations firm specializing in media training.