Rosabeth Moss Kanter brings up an excellent question in her blog post on how to use social media to advance yourself, your cause, and your career. She says that instead of asking how to use social media to advance each of those instead you should be thinking about how to advance the cause, the company, or the profession. As she points out, social media is already very self-serving. Instead, you want to be seen for something bigger than just promoting yourself. She says that instead of inflating what you have done, your insights, and accomplishments you should report your actions in a straightforward, non-hyped manner, and in turn, your virtues will speak for themselves. Then, when you ask your social media contacts for help - finding a job, attracting funding for a cause of new business venture, getting attention for an event—people will be more willing to help because they’ve experienced something positive. Social media helps you reach strangers, but strangers don’t have to engage with you unless they want to.
That seems like common sense, but as Kanter points out, so is keeping personal information personal. It should be widely known that indiscreet photos or inflammatory remarks can come back to bite you, but it also seems to be widely forgotten.