Thanks to the digital era we have never been more connected. Due to the advancement of technology individuals, consumers and business owners are experiencing a huge flux of benefits.
The introduction of the internet has made selling and buying of products and services easier with the aid of a website offering the capacity to reach a global audience. Social Media channels have effectively changed how we represent our lives and how businesses promote their services. Everyone has the power to connect with people all over the world, ones they might not normally have access to outside of their community.
Upside and downside
The use of a phone, tablet or computer has created endless social opportunities for individuals and businesses. And whilst most have a positive user experience unfortunately this can also be turned against us. A careless comment can land some people into hot water. These are legitimate concerns meaning time should be taken to consider what we say and how we share it.
Other issues relate to online safety, privacy and security. Account hacking, cyber bullying and trolling are also realistic threats which can devast lives. Each social platform has a duty of care and should therefore uphold their agreement to safeguard users, but this is not always easy to monitor and control.
The simplest way to remain safe is to set your personal account as private. This will offer protection against any unwanted invitations and allows the ability to connect with real friends. It also enables account holders to manage and dictate who sees their content. Whilst these steps can help individuals remain safe, it doesn’t stop people tripping over their feet and saying the wrong thing.
Some have a gift and can create a compelling argument without upsetting the masses, whereas others deliberately provoke responses. And let’s not forget those who simply just don’t think before they speak.
It’s important to note that personal and business pages are entirely different and should be treated as such when posting. The main aim for companies is to attract and build a relevant audience of likeminded individuals to their page. To share company updates and news, grow a meaningful community and sell the benefits of their value proposition. This is done on a professional level specifically targeting segmented groups pertaining to relieve pain points and provide information.
A business page is not a free for all to air personal views or fluffy images, it has a specific business purpose. Sites such as Linkedin have built their foundations on providing B2B or B2C networking opportunities for businesses to connect, share and learn. Mediums such as these should be taken seriously and handled in accordance with their usage.
People like engaging with people, so if a company can adequately represent a personality on their social pages, then they will be rewarded with followers, likes and shares. Marketers are recruited to develop content creating awareness, interest, desire and ultimately convincing customers to take action and make a purchase.
Unlike personal posts business content is organised and planned in line with strategy including blogs, infographics, tailored messages, quotes, advertisements, videos and carefully created imagery. Ideally businesses want their posts to do well organically. This means not paying for advertising but rather allowing the content to flow from person to person based on the impression and impact.
In business every marketer hopes their posts will go viral. This is where a piece of content is so compelling it sparks a huge reaction and reaches large numbers of people. How? Well because it was engaging enough for others to take the time to share. It generally focuses on a trending topic, economic or social change and often contains humour. This can be incredibly beneficial for a business to reach a varied audience. However, on the flip side viral posts often have a short time span and can sometimes die out just as quickly as they started.
An evergreen post on the other hand provides businesses with more leverage to keep attracting followers long after it has been published. This means it can be viewed over again and still continues to remain fresh. Think of it like this, Robbie Williams recorded a song in 1997 called Angels. It is played at weddings, funerals, Christmas parties, discos etc year on year. Like an evergreen post the song fits all occasions and has long lasting personal value.
Out of context Posts
Ever said something you later wished you hadn’t? Welcome to out of context posts. These typically go viral for all the wrong reasons. An individual usually a celebrity, politician or famed entrepreneur expresses a viewpoint either with or without thought and it gets shared. Whilst these are generally harmless business owners need to be exceptional careful about what they say. One slip of the tongue can turn a quote into a 3-word soundbite crafted completely out of context leaving the reputation of the person and the brand they represent in tatters.
Critical Feedback Posts
Anyone who uses social media is open to harsh criticism. But for businesses these can have disastrous effects. Getting bad reviews is usually seen as a pain in the neck. But not all should be classed as a hindrance in some case this can help a business adjust its proposition by expanding upon client’s reactions. To remain effective critical posts, need to be monitored and managed, with carefully constructed responses demonstrating the company is prepared to listen and is willing to take necessary action.
The best piece of advice is to think before you post. We all have the right to an opinion, but this might not be appreciated by the audience. Like dirty laundry is never aired outside or a scratch is best itched in private think before you do it. Remember we live in the digital age and that means everyone you meet has a camera and video function at their disposal.
In particular big businesses need to be more socially aware as they tend to have large numbers of followers and one slip of the pen or tongue may not be so easily forgiven or forgotten. They should always remain professional whilst cleverly intertwining scope to present personality.
Treat social media as a two-way conversation remaining proactive by interacting with clients, listening to feedback, and posting wisely, in line with the purpose of the site. Be kind and respectful towards others and do unto them what you’d like done to you. If at any time you are unsure follow your instincts, if it feels wrong then this generally means don’t say it or at the least refrain from posting.