It Goes Down in the DM
Avoid Damaging Your Social Media Image
Trill or Not Trill?


I know you seen the title and thought, “creep” lol but it’s not what you think. For my older readers direct message on Instagram or Twitter is sending a private message to a fellow user. Rappers like Tyga get caught in the DMs in all the wrong way. The site created a hashtag for singles called #slideinthedms. Soon generation X folks will marry that DM slider. Inspired by the Yo Gotti song “Down In The DM” I will explain the importance of direct messages within your social media post. The growth of social media has led to employers and schools becoming lurkers. Don’t fall victim to a post having the wrong direct message. Here are four valuable tips:

1. What’s your image?
In real life settings, it can take up to 30 seconds for an impression to be made. The same goes for your post on social media. Do not fall into the trap of posting inappropriate or ratchet photos of yourself or others. Do not be quick to repost that next Plies video. You can easily be defined by the last 5 posts on your social media page. Let’s do a self-evaluation based on that criteria, how do you feel? If you are not getting recognition or pay like some social media users stay completely away from inappropriate and NSFW(Not Safe For Work) posts. Big companies like Goldman Sachs and Universities are now lurking on your page. According to the NY Times, “Kaplan Test Prep, the service owned by the Washington Post Company, suggests that online scrutiny of college hopefuls is growing.” With that said, you have to be extra careful.

2. Be aware of the hashtag
I will never forget working student orientations on my campus. We loved when students participated in a hashtag challenge created to get them involved. One student decided to add the hashtags without remembering how inappropriate his name and page was on Twitter. Let’s just say his characteristics didn’t match the social media page. If you feel social media is not the real world (stay tuned I might change that thought) please stay away from geotagging, check-ins and hashtags. This makes it more convenient for everyone to find your inappropriate page.

3. Social media = Personality Tests
Mark Cuban the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of TV show “Shark Tank” describes in late 2014 the biggest mistake being made on social media.
As Cuban Explains (Source:
Every person you follow on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook…every person you retweet, repin, repost, renote, regram on social media defines who you are. And there are applications now that are collecting every bit of that and creating profiles about you and anticipating what you’re going to do next.
By what you do on social media, you are creating a profile about yourself. And that is going to be used, not just by online companies, but that’s going to be used in every walk of life. Let’s and reflect on Mark Cuban’s stance for a minute. This means that every post you add may affect the rest of your life. SCARY! I always tell folks to do an audit of all of your social media before making your next move. You might be the same person you were a year ago. Just like companies and organizations re-brand your social media so that it matches the real life person. Nothing worse than being a lively, happy and outgoing person via social media but in person you are an introvert. This is all real life people limit your impulse posting!

4. Role models
Do you have a role model? No not the J Cole song (which happens to be one of my favorites). Who is the person you currently look up to? What do their social media accounts look like? Again, social media is is a part of your real life. As you should in your day to day having a role model or mentor in both worlds is important. Follow that Doctor, Engineer, CEO, Educator or whomever else you seek out to become. I guarantee, if they have a page it is very clean. Now, if you’re looking to be a comedian or entertainer your social media will showcase different aspects, which should work financially in your favor.

Before I go, next time you want to post on social media ask yourself the following:
• Would my opinion on this topic change?
• Am I willing to be judged or put in a negative limelight
• Can this hurt my current career?
• Will this affect my current/future income?



Lenny Williams is one of today’s most gifted leaders in inspiring youth and countless individuals to pursue their career and educational dreams. As an 
educator and speaker, his mission is to be a voice to reach generations and a reminder that greatness can be achieved against all odds.To get more 
information or personal or business coaching please contact 
Lenny A. Williams, MBA (