Scrutinise your social standing
A friend posted a meme on Facebook the other day.
It said: “Dance like no one is watching. But text and email like it will be read in court one day.”
It was even more amusing because, just a few days prior, said friend and I were joking how one particular text exchange between us would probably end up in the Daily Mail.
And we’d both be found as guilty as one another in a court of law.
Of course, it got me thinking.
In today’s electronic world, there’s no escaping our faux pas’.
Things will, inevitably, come back and bite you on the butt.
And it’s not just emails and texts that can be held against you.
Social media is no different. It doesn’t exist in its own private bubble. Whatever you put out there is at the mercy of a hell of a lot of people.
For businesses, of course, that bunch of folk includes all those consumers that you are trying to keep sweet.
You know, those who you want to deliver an emotive end-user experience to. Customers that you hope will remain loyal, repeat buy and tell all their friends.
So, shouldn’t it ring true that you should Tweet (or, indeed, post on any social media channel) as though that may one day be read in court, too?
I think so!
Don’t do a Donald!
Granted, not everyone seems to think like that. Or, indeed, actually gives a shit as to what people think of their ‘tweets from twits’.
Take those two morons as a case on point (the US President and Mayor of London).
Our Capital is experiencing homicides at a pretty alarming rate, yet those two muppets seem more interested in bitching about each other.
“LONDON needs a new mayor ASAP. Khan is a disaster – will only get worse!”
“Trump is like an eleven-year old-child.”
“Khan is a stone-cold loser.”
And on… yeah, you get the picture.
Rise above it
Of course, for the most part, those in power can get away with such childish behaviour.
Consumers love watching these idiots screw up. It makes for good car crash social media.
And we all know that it’s definitely easier to speak your mind when you have a bee in your bonnet and don’t need to make eye-contact.
(Let’s face it, we all know someone that’s been on a gin-fuelled texting or social media mission that doesn’t always seem like such a good idea come morning!)
But, if your company started attacking people or speaking out of turn, your brand would be for the chopping block in quick time!
So, what is the etiquette, when it comes to social media for your brand?
Keep it professional
You are not bantering with friends or going all puppy-dog eyed over that celebrity crush that you follow.
You are running a business. So, keep your social media account professional.
An end-user isn’t any more likely to buy from you if they see Fred from accounts photocopying his ass at the Christmas party.
It’s not all about you!
Sure, social media is a great way to inform consumers about special offers, deals and discounts and to share your company news and blog posts.
But no-one likes a narcissist! So, don’t make it all one-sided.
Use it as an opportunity to create a conversation.
Ask questions. Get involved in what your customers are saying.
And get to really know and understand your audience and what they want.
Make it engaging
It’s not just Fred’s bottom that people don’t want to see. Photos of office meetings or the buffet spread at your weekly brainstorm aren’t exactly riveting either.
As a basic rule of thumb, if it’s not engaging, it’s not worth posting. So, post with intention.
Choose topics and comments that will excite your consumers and make them want to interact with you.
Remember, it only takes a matter of seconds to press ‘unfollow/unlike’.
Choose your platform wisely
Social media can be seen as being a little impersonal.
So, if you are looking to post something that could be seen as being sensitive in nature, or is perhaps more personal for the end-user you are reaching out to, stop.
Before charging in like a bull in a china shop, you need to ask yourself whether a social media channel is the best way to share the information.
If you are unsure, it’s best to explore an alternative means of communication (such as an email, letter or phone call).
You’re not Trump! You can’t get away with offending people left, right and centre.
Of course, as we know, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. There’s generally someone out there willing and able to take offence at the things you say.
So always think twice before posting. Think: will it ruffle any feathers? And, if it’s likely to, will too much damage be done? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, don’t post it!
Cross the t’s and dot the i’s
When you post on social media, you are representing your entire brand.
So, don’t be slapdash. You don’t want people to be thinking that everything about your business is shoddy!
Put the brakes on a little and take the time to read your posts thoroughly and check not only spelling but also proof-read to ensure it makes perfect sense.
You want to be seen as confident and intelligent, not unprofessional and careless.
It’s not easy navigating the world of social media. But, with a little thought and effort before posting, you can stop yourself from making any embarrassing social media blunders.