When it comes to potential careers, social media influencers can be pretty relaxed in their workplace. Unlike the 9-5 office environment, social media is a fresh and buzzing platform, characterised as a stage for friendly debate and informal conversations with people all over the world.
But there’s also a dark side to social networking, which every influencer should be aware of. From warding off Internet trolls to getting on the wrong side of the law, here are the top three reasons why social media influencers should be careful when posting online.
1. The creepy consequences of sharing too much
Of course, we all know the point of social media is to share content with users from around the world: your opinions, your talents, and aspects of your life. But if there’s one thing you should be wary of revealing to billions of Internet users, it’s your identity.
Identity theft via social networking is a growing problem in our society, due to the extent of personal information users now share online. Influencers also run the risk of followers tracking them down in real life when they’re not careful with personal data: in 2014, Zoella’s home was circled by fans after she accidentally showed her address in a vlog. Scary stuff!
Perhaps take a leaf out of Samantha Maria’s book – she’s a lifestyle blogger and YouTuber who prefers to not reveal her surname online. You could even sport an air of anonymity on social media, like the up-and-coming Nude Yoga Girl.
Whatever your style, prioritise your security and protect your identity above all else.
2. How a single post can turn you into a criminal
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but is it worth a lawsuit?
Most of us are aware of international copyright laws, and how they protect our original works. But as an influencer, do you really understand how the law applies to social media?
The harsh truth is this: you do not have the right to reproduce copyrighted works – be that on Twitter, Instagram or any other social networking page.
Keep copyright laws in mind when you’re choosing pics for your page – and remember, copyrighted laws apply to every kind of artwork. Music label Ultra Records famously sued Michelle Phan for millions of dollars in 2014, after she used a number of copyrighted tracks in her YouTube videos.
Avoid getting in trouble with the law and hefty fines by respecting the content of other artists, and keeping your posts legal.
3. When trolls escape from under the bridge
From revealing too much of your true identity to risking real-life lawsuits, it’s fair to say that social media isn’t completely removed from the real world. Recognising this is the key to protecting yourself online.
With this in mind, abusive messages from online trolls should also be taken seriously. Some may claim that whilst sticks and stones break bones, trolling cannot hurt you – but a number of high profile cases have shown how online attacks can spiral out of control.
Taylor Swift has long been a target of online abuse – there are even a number of Twitter accounts dedicated to bashing the star. But since May, the situation has been growing nastier, with Swift and her ‘Squad’ of celebrity girlfriends receiving death threats via Twitter.
The threatening tweets reveal just how dangerous social media can be, but Taylor and her friends are taking sensible steps towards protecting themselves. Police have been made aware of the nature of the tweets, and now have access to Twitter records which should lead them to the troll’s identity.
From the risks of online trolls or real-life stalkers, to getting yourself in trouble with copyright laws, working as an influencer certainly comes with its own range of challenges. But when you follow these steps towards being careful online and protecting yourself, you can continue to enjoy the world of social media and build an exciting career as an influencer.
Contact Social Wage here today for more information about how you can move your career forward with our influencer advertising agency.