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Can Social Media Cost You $5 Million?

social media costI know you've probably heard this before, but it's worth repeating: be careful what you post on social media.

It may be used against you.  For one NFL player, it cost $5 million.  

New Orleans Saints football player Jimmy Graham was recently in a contract dispute with the Saints over whether he should be designated as a "Tight End" or a "Wide Receiver."  While the distinction may seem trivial, it had huge repercussions in terms of salary. 

Graham was set to receive the "franchise tag," which is a one year, non-negotiable contract, the salary of which is determined by averaging the five highest paid players' salaries at Graham's position.  If Graham was designated as a Tight End, he would have made $7,053,000 for the year.  If he was designated as a Wide Receiver, his salary would increase to $12,132,000.

So where does social media come in?  Graham's personal Twitter account stated that he was a Tight End, which was used against him in arbitration.  Graham lost in arbitration.  He was designated as a Tight End – and paid like one. 

The lesson to learn here is that social media matters.  It is a great tool for marketing and developing your business and can be a part of an effective marketing and branding strategy.  However, social media is public information.  It can be used against you.  Be careful what you post! 

Categories: Social Media

Photo of John W. Mashni

John brings a unique perspective to Foster Swift with his practical experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, and manager.  He focuses in the areas of business, tax, intellectual property and entertainment.

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