Recent study reveals many social media election posts are negative, reports Steven C. Wyer of Reputation Advocate.

Reputation Advocate regularly assists clients in improving their online reputation by increasing positive search results for particular keywords. Managing Director Steven Wyer reports that a recent study from Pew Research found that online postings about the election were overwhelmingly negative, especially on Twitter.

The Pew study contrasted social media postings against traditional press, which also tended toward the negative. The study concluded that social media posts were far more negative, with posters tending toward the "provocative" in order to get attention. This public venting tends to turn readers off more than engage them, according to Reputation Advocate's Wyer.

As an online reputation management provider, Reputation Advocate informs clients that his or her posts can remain visible in search results indefinitely. Future employers, potential clients, and even friends and loved ones may judge someone negatively based on posts that show up on social profile sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

It is especially important for business professionals to keep politics out of social media profiles, cautions Steven C. Wyer. Postings on LinkedIn and/or company Facebook pages can result in a business losing valuable clients who may not agree with those political views. Even those clients who do agree may be repelled by too many political status updates or tweets, especially if those posts are combative.

The 2012 Presidential election is an important event in the history of our nation. Not acknowledging it at all could result in your followers inaccurately perceiving your nonparticipation. Reputation Advocate and Steven C. Wyer recommend these steps for positively participating in social media this election day:

• Encourage voting. Everyone knows the importance of voting. You do not have to endorse a specific candidate to remind everyone to get out and vote on November 4th.
• Deck out your page. "I voted" buttons and banners are available for use on social media sites. Change your page to red, white, and blue to show your support of your country.
• Be positive. If you feel compelled to make your choice of candidate known, choose to highlight the positive aspects of your candidate instead of beating down the opposing candidate. Wyer says that this is good practice for both individuals and businesses. You'll tend to win over more people through positive posts than negative.
• Don't engage in debate. You aren't going to change someone's mind in a social media argument. Rather, you'll run the risk of making yourself and your business look unprofessional and overbearing. Reputation Advocate 's Wyer stresses the importance of always respecting the opinions of others and refraining from online flame wars.

The 2012 election has seen the largest social media involvement in history and in coming years that involvement is only likely to increase. According to Steven C. Wyer, it's important for businesses, companies, and professionals to learn the importance of separating business and personal political views, especially in such a public forum. That positive tone should remain long after the election is complete.