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Are you ruining your brand with red flag posts?

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1 wrong social media post can affect your brand credibility


We all know that we have to be careful with what we say or do in front of others. Once the deed is done, it cannot be taken back no matter how many clarifications and apologies are offered to make amends.

In a similar vein, what we post on social media stays forever and even if you do delete a post or comment, it would have circulated to others reading the post or comment at the speed of lightening and damage done.

This week’s video post looks at the what, where and how to say and do on social media and offers tips on what to post on the Big Four social media platforms to help you get your brand across in the best positive light as well as a few red flags to avoid, even if you personally think it is funny and security issues.

Hope you enjoy it and please do share your own tips in the comments box below.


Update 27 June 2018

When I wrote this blog post and created this video in April 2014, Cambridge Analytica and the Facebook Data Breach had not occurred. CANSPAM Regulations existed even then and now we also have GDPR.

The basics of this blog post are still valid as good practice but I also have another post on online privacy on social networking sites (click here to read it) which is relevant and a free resource that you can access by clicking here or on the image below.

7 Actions you need to take to protect your online privacy cheatsheet


I’ve added the transcript of the video tip for ease of use.




3 branding tips for careerists part 3 transcript added on 27th June 2018

Hi, this is Vatsala Shukla from Karmic Ally Coaching, bringing you the 3rd part of my 3 branding tips for Careerists.

Now in the previous 2 sessions, I had actually talked about how you want to appear to the world and also know the kind of email address you’re going to use, and today we’re now going to get into some REAL action where I’m going to be discussing with you, the where, the what, the how to say and do on social media.

This is actually quite important because you’re trying to build a personal brand.

SO my question for you is,

Are you online to brand build and network or are you out to vent your spleen?

Now you all have read various posts and articles on the internet about how people have posted comments about their jobs, their bosses, lost their jobs or photographs they shouldn’t have and then lived to have regretted it.

Each one of us is different and the very fact you are trying to build a brand, your own personal brand and you’re trying to network with people to help you achieve your objectives offline means that you must always think twice before you’re posting.

Your posts must represent your personal brand.

You have to give a consistent view about you and most importantly, you want to make people want to know you.

Depending upon which social media site you’re using, you also have to use your discretion, about what you’re posting.

What I’ve done on this slide, (it’s not an exhaustive one),is I’ve basically picked up the Big Four social media platforms, namely LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook as well as put down some reasons to use them.

So if you’re trying to build your brand for professional networking or for finding a job, then LinkedIn is the place you want to be. And here, the kinds of posts you’re going to do are those that make you known as an expert, in your field.

You can also like, share and comment on other people’s status updates and you can invite people to connect, accept connections, publish your own content, or share information that adds value to your Connections (network).

And I do suggest that you participate in your Group conversations.

I’d also like to point out to be very professional when posting on LinkedIn. A joke here or a joke there may work, it may not. Be very careful, think twice.

If you’re trying to communicate with friends and family, then Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook are better places for you to hang out on.

You can post photos, videos, updates and funny things but then again, if you’re going to be inviting your colleagues or boss or professional head hunters in case you’re looking for a job, then again, I would exercise some discretion.

Likewise, if you’re trying to communicate with a Brand, then Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook are the best places to do it.

If you’re trying to do some Celebrity Engagement, then Twitter is the best.

I have connected with 1 or 2 Indian celebrities there and we’ve had great chats and it’s been fun.

In case of Google Plus, depending upon whether you’re trying to build your brand on Google Plus, I must tell you that this is the place where people share information.

So one thing you can do is find pages, people you wish to connect or network with whether to get business or get a job, follow them and engage with them sharing interesting information.

Essentially, be yourself but don’t be obnoxious.

Now I’d like to point out some red flag areas.

Each social media platform has its own set of rules and manner of engagement and I suggest you observe and follow them.

This essentially also means, there should be no racist or gender comments on any of these social media platforms.

There should be no swearing or cussing and be very careful with your humour. What may seem funny when you’re using your body language may not look so funny when written down.

And always ask yourself, is my post appropriate?

The reason for this is that you’re on platforms where you don’t actually see whose seen your posts, so what I do before posting and suggest you do is:

Before posting, just ask yourself

If my parents or children saw what I have posted, would I feel uncomfortable?

Another one could be, before posting, ask yourself

SO what?

If your question is, would your post be of any use to anyone?

Then say so what, and if your answer is yes, then go ahead and post it.

I would like to complete this session with you with just a few tips about your security.

What I mean by security is regularly check your security settings on all your profiles on each of the social media platforms that you use.

You may want to use your discretion about your location and other things because, think about your personal security and your status updates because people who may not know you can also see your connections or open audiences and you may not wish to share certain information on a public platform.

So exercise a bit of discretion, regularly check up on all your profiles and see if anything needs to be updated, does anything have to be deleted, and you know the best part is that you can actually include all of your social media profiles in your email signature before sending it out so that different people can connect depending upon their various interests and where they like to hang out, they can connect with you there.

If you need more tips on how to get noticed in the workplace, then please do download my ebook and drop me a line to let me know how it goes for you.

Bye for now.


Get Noticed with these 15 insider tips that raise your Executive Presence at work


Ever inadvertently posted a red flag item on social media? How did you regain credibility? 



Written by Vatsala Shukla

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8 Responses to “Are you ruining your brand with red flag posts?”

  1. Teresa Salhi says:

    The tips you’ve provided are timeless as we should always show up online as a representation of our brand if we are a business person. I do think about that and set my sights to come across that way.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Teresa. Your method of planning how to present your brand works brilliantly. As the late Covey put it, begin with the end in mind and then of course, apply that vision in creating your social media posts.

  2. I don’t know what you added or removed, Vatsala, but every point is spot on. Building your personal brand is closely tied in with one’s online reputation, and whether we like it or not, our personal brand and reputation are formed by the message we convey in our social media posts.

    The caution to stop and think, and even ask questions, is appropro. I sometimes read things and ask the question, “What is she thinking?!!” Perhaps they’re not. There have been some pretty public cases where just one photo or status updated had terrible consequences.

    Excellent reminders. Thank you for posting them.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Yvonne. I added the transcript because I realized video might not be everyone’s cup of tea. 🙂

  3. Vatsala, I LOVE how you added a transcript link because I believe people learn differently. Some may learn visually, while others may learn auditorially. I happen to enjoy sitting back with a hot cup of tea and listening. (And, that is exactly what I did.) Also- what a great idea to repurpose your previous hard work!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Kathleen. In a world where business owners are being taught that content is King, creating more content is good but checking to see if older content can be upgrade to provide value and be of service to an audience that prefers other mediums for education is equally important. Mission ‘to be of service’ continues! 🙂

  4. Reba Linker says:

    I really like your questions to ask before you post something – will I be OK with parents/kids seeing it? and the big “so what!?” Great questions! Your post helps us stay focussed, always honing in on the ‘why’ of what we are doing. Venting, etc., might feel good at times, but if it’s not done in the right context it could be a disaster.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Reba. I remember the time when professionals started posting quiz’s etc on LinkedIn which led to lots of post venting not to treat LinkedIn like Facebook. It died down after a while but I’m not sure who it impacted worse – the folks who were trying to get eyeballs with non-LinkedIn posts or the folks who were screaming and receiving comments that they should be more tolerant. 🙂

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I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

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I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

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Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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