Couldn't sleep last night so decided to flip through Flipboard for awhile. I came across an item from an education consultant in my Linkedin network. Paraphrasing her post here:
I agree with this article COMPLETELY. Teachers REALLY need diversity training. And they need to hire me to do it.
I followed the link and came to poorly-written ranty post outlining bad behavior the author had witnessed in the teacher's lounge. I was surprised at how rambly the piece was and didn't think it reflected well on the re-poster.
Social Sharing Lesson 1: Whenever possible, don't post links to content that isn't up to the quality you want associated with your brand. Options: 1) Excerpt the most important thought in a blog post or extended status of your own, limiting exposure to the lower-quality content; 2) Acknowledge the quality of the ideas despite the quality of the presentation.
Then I noticed the comments. The original poster has few fans. Commenters accused him of "race-peddling", called out the quality of his writing, and suggested he was creating "fantasies" to sell his and his wife's work. Ouch! I left the post feeling like the author had been discredited, and that my connection had been a bit, too.
Social Sharing Lesson 2: Don't just read the top of the article you and post it. Read it all to be sure there's nothing later that you disagree with. And definitely read the comments--many people do. A resounding pan of the person or the post takes you brand down, too. Guilt by association, etc., etc.
Social sharing is a great way to extend and strengthen your brand, validate your own ideas, build credibility by showing your connections, and enhance trust with careful curation. It's those last two words you need to focus on, though: careful curation.