Ten years ago, the phrase “Facebook fired” wasn’t in our vocabulary. Today a Google search for “fired for twitter post” brings up 158 million pages. Although you can delete photos and status updates, you can’t un-ring the bell, as too many “soon-to-be ex-employees” have found the hard way. Using Social Media is like living in a glass house – people on the outside can see what you’re doing on the inside. This doesn’t have to be a stressful situation. Instead, it represents a huge opportunity to connect with your target audience if you go about it the right way.
The key to living in the glass house of Social Media without worry is to approach posting socially as a strategic activity. The purpose is to connect with your audience and build and develop the “know,” “like,” and “trust,” factors that are crucial to converting prospects to clients and maintaining a long-term relationship. A strategic approach means developing a series of guiding principles that your posts and updates will be in alignment with.
Post in integrity
Nothing turns people off as fast as duplicity. People will forgive a lot of mistakes, but hypocrisy is a tough one for people to get past. There are lots of examples of people and businesses whose efforts have been hindered because the incongruity between their public face and their private face caught up with them. As Zig Ziglar once said “If you always tell the truth you don’t need a long memory.” If you only use Social Media to share pictures and post updates that are in alignment with your business and your personal “brand”, you don’t have to worry about living in a glass house.
For some, this really won’t be much of an issue at all. For others, it will be. The key here is that if you think that this could be an issue for you, don’t use Twitter, Facebook, etc., spontaneously. Instead, think about it before you post it. Sounds simple, but this simple approach, if followed, would have saved comedian Gilbert Gottfried gig as the voice of the Aflac duck. Aflac fired Gottfried less than an hour after they discovered his offensive tweets in the aftermath of a tragedy in Japan.
Mixing business and personal
Social Media marketing done right is not about being clinical or sterile in your updates. It is about achieving a balance between professional and personal that will attract your ideal audience and make them want to follow you and engage with you and then go on to do business with you. To achieve this balance steer clear of “TMI” or the sharing of too-much-information, usually personal in nature. Share the kind of things that will be interesting to your audience and supportive of your social marketing goals. Steer clear of anything that won’t help you develop know-like-trust with your target audience.
Social marketing can help you connect with your target audience like never before and contribute to the growth of your business. Don’t let the stress of living in a glass house keep you from moving into Social Media. To put the power of social to work for your business, check out 5 Ways to Grow Your Business Using Social Media.