On October 3, 2016, social media celebrity Kim Kardashian was robbed. Controversy immediately sprang up when some news outlets claimed that the thieves figured out the best way to execute their robbery based upon her incessant social media posting. But what can small businesses learn from this robbery?

If you’ve got it, should you flaunt it?

Since the robbery, Kim Kardashian and her large family’s normal flurry of social media postings have stopped. In fact, the family that couldn’t go more than a few days without getting into a twitter war seems to be maintaining radio silence. This begs the question about business social media practices. Earlier this year, we wrote an article on Social Media Legal Tips. In light of the Kim Kardahian robbery I feel the need to reiterate social media tip #3:

Do Not Overshare– Social media seems to foster oversharing. And as tempting as it may be to brag about a big business deal on your company page, it can spell disaster. Be sure that whatever you are sharing does not violate any non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality requirements, trade secrets or professional confidentiality rules. Do not spill your secrets to your competition!

Now this rule is fine and dandy for most small businesses, but can it effectively apply to an individual who is their business? In this day and age, cross-branding blurs the line between the brand and the individual. Are you a representative of a brand? Or are you the brand? Can you be a representative of your own brand? For many professionals who are their own brand, this line can get blurry. Persons like Kardashian make a living from straddling the line between business and personal on social media. Does it even matter?

The short answer is yes. Yes, an individual can be their own brand. Yes, an individual brand can maintain privacy while continuing their business on social media. And yes, it matters when social media can get in the way of personal security. How can this apply to your small business?

  • Stagger Your Postings– Avoid posting exactly where you are at all times. Most social networking sites allow you to set up posts to automatically publish at a specified time. This will not only help your business with security concerns, but is a nifty feature for managing your social media.
  • Maintain Separate Brand and Personal Accounts– Keep separate accounts for your personal life and business life. For example, one could have an account for “John Doe, Person” and “John Doe, Business” and elect to keep the personal account under much tighter controls.
  • Exercise Moderation– Kim Kardashian posted about her jewels, lavish lifestyle and fancy homes. Combined with consistently posting her location, this can be seen as a security risk. Same goes for your business. Showcasing lavish retreats or big ticket items can invite the wrong kind of attention.

The Bottom Line

Social media marketing should be an asset to your small business- not a security risk. The Kim Kardashian robbery highlights how social media can be viewed as a security risk, especially for persons that utilize themselves as part of a brand. However with proper measures, your business can avoid jeopardizing security via social media.

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