We have all been there before, an ongoing online discussion catches your eye, prompting you to draft a comment, tweet, or private message. This subject, whatever it is, has made you feel emotional, and you need to give your two cents on the matter. For most, this can be a routine excursion into participating in online discourse as an individual.

Business owners and executive-level decision-makers may want to think twice before pressing send. Representatives of firms and companies are subject to a unique level of scrutiny, with said attention being directly correlated with the size and publicity of the entities they represent.

In business, there is a concept called positioning. Where your company is positioned is how your firm occupies the minds of consumers and clients. This could be the needs that your business satisfies, the level of service you provide, or the values by which you operate. In some cases, the values held by your firm may not be a 1-to-1 match of your own. You are, of course, entitled to your rights as a private citizen. Unfortunately, the larger your firm becomes, the thinner the veil between your public and private personae.

As a high-level decision-maker, you have an increased onus to ensure that your online activity does not distract or confuse your firm’s values. Organizational behaviour research has shown that strong values alignment reaps substantial internal benefits for a firm, reducing turnover, increasing productivity, and improving internal relations. Externally, observing the most influential firms in the marketplace, it has become evident that strong values alignment can aid in capturing a higher and more resilient market share.

You are entitled to your own private life as your private citizen. But as a high-level leader of a business, be sure to keep the values of your business in mind before you post anything online. You may risk alienating employees and customers if your online post doesn’t align with your company’s core values.

Contact the Daisy Consulting Group for a free consultation if you want to learn more about media best practices in an increasingly digital landscape.