Look Before You Like


What do all of your “likes” in social media say about you?

More importantly, what do you want them to say about you?

Do you think before you “like” in Facebook . . . or “heart” in Instagram and Twitter?

Do you consider how that piece of data will be aggregated with thousands of other data points about you?

Do you decide if it will reflect well on you or not?

Just as you should look before you link, you should look before you “like.”

Why? Because of something called The Reputation Economy.

Say what?

In this 2015 book, Reputation.com founder Michael Fertik tells you “how to optimize your digital footprint in a world where your reputation is your most valuable asset.”

Ultimately, Fertik sets forth a compelling case that your digital reputation may shape how you experience the world – for better or for worse.

In this election circus season, for example, you may think you’re circumspect about your political views. But Facebook has identified your political leanings, based on your activity on the site.

Even more interesting is seeing how your digital footprint may reveal your personality.

By analyzing just a few of your Facebook likes, the University of Cambridge’s psychometric centre will predict several dimensions of your personality.

“You are what you like,” the site says.

Try it.

You may think twice about what you “like” in the future.

Here are my non-algorithmic rules for liking content in social media:

  • Always consider how liking something will reflect on you. Will it contribute to – or detract from – what you want to be known for?
  • If you’re not sure what certain content could imply, don’t like it. And if you have “friends” who repeatedly post strange content, it might time to unfriend them.

What do you like?

Published by

Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an enthusiastic alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, Social Media Savvy for Corporate Professionals, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

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