Social Media: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

We’re constantly having conversations with new and existing clients about social media. While some folks think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, others are wary of it and just aren’t sure it’s for them or their business. We understand, we really do. Because, when used correctly, social media really can be pretty darn sweet, build and maintain relationships and create a buzz about your brand (personal, business or otherwise) – BUT – when used incorrectly, social media can be destructive, hinder relationships and eliminate potential leads. There are thousands of articles out there about how to manage your social media reputation, and it wouldn’t hurt to read a few and keep up with the dos and don’ts  of the ever-changing social sphere. Here’s a short version of what we know to be true regarding the good, bad and the ugly of social media.

Personal Social Accounts: For those looking for a job, establishing themselves as a professional or want people to take them seriously.

The Bad & The Ugly:
Sure, your personal Facebook page isn’t a corporate account and it should be a casual, fun place to connect with friends and families, but how far is too far when it comes to sharing and posting? Well I’m sure we’re not the only ones who have witnessed Facebook accounts with simply TMI. You have to remember, this is not private. Even if you have high privacy settings, people can still find a way to see your page. Friends can tag pictures of you, and if their pages aren’t private, neither are the pictures. Here’s a good rule of thumb to use: if you wouldn’t want your boss, your mother-in-law or your grandmother to see it… don’t put it on Facebook or Twitter. This is especially true for those of you out there that are looking for jobs or building your professional image. Potential employees will look you up on Facebook – and if the first thing they see are your bikini and booze pics from a college spring break trip – they might think twice about bringing you on to their team. Monitor your content – watch your language, your photos and your conversations about work.

For those who have jobs, be careful what you post regarding your workplace. Facebook and Twitter aren’t the place to bash your co-workers, complain about clients, brag about how you faked sick…Take a look at this study that found that 8% of US Companies have fired someone for behaviors such as these on social media accounts. Save all that for gab sessions with your gal-pals, don’t announce it to your 600+ Facebook friends. Use common sense people!

The Good:
Use your social platforms to promote the best parts of your personality. Be funny, share your thoughts and dreams. Keep people updated on where you live, what you’re up to and if you’re on the market for a job, a new house, or anything in between, like a new hairstylist. You’ll be surprised by how many leads and connections you’ll get through a simple status update! Use your network to your benefit. Plan events, keep in touch with colleagues and friends, post pictures of your family, your vacations and your life events. Let your personality shine and use these platforms to build bridges, maintain relationships and represent your very best Y-O-U. Social media is fun, so have fun with it! Just remember to play it safe when it comes to hurting your reputation by what you’re posting.

Business Social Accounts: From small agencies and mom-and-pop shops all the way up to the big dogs – these rules apply to you!

The Bad & The Ugly:
More and more companies are jumping on the social media bandwagon. This is great, because social media is a wonderful tool that is an effective way of creating a two-way conversation with new and existing customers. Some companies haven’t quite gotten the hang of generating the right content for their social accounts, resulting in some major social media fails. Here are a few things we’ve seen firsthand and read about regarding no-no’s when it comes to business social accounts.

Don’t be too stiff. Sure, you’re professional – but Facebook and Twitter are social platforms, with real people who want to have real conversations. Loosen up and be personable. Show a little personality, don’t be too uptight. PRDaily put it best in a recent article when they wrote, “Lose the arrogance, be approachable, and humanize the brand. It’s really that simple.”

Slow and steady wins the race. This really is true, folks, when it comes to social media. Sure, everyone would like to start a Facebook page and have 2,000 followers overnight, but unless you’re Kim Kardashian, that’s probably not realistic. The followers and relationships formed on your social accounts that come organically and over time are the ones that will be most heavily engaged and worthwhile to your brand. 100 followers who actually read what you’re posting are much better than 2,000 followers who never take a second look at your page. Slow and steady, nice and easy. Build your presence, and the followers will come. (Anyone thinking of Field of Dreams right now? “If you build it, they will come.”) Bottom line, don’t force the “Likes” and the “Follows” just for the sake of having them. Your content should be good enough to establish a natural appeal and engagement.

Don’t oversell. Sure, if we’re being honest, the point of your Facebook page is to increase revenue. You’re not paying your social media manager to just sit around and play on Facebook and Twitter all day for the fun of it. But try not to make this so obvious to your consumers. Don’t just push the sales. Push the relationships, and the sales will follow.

The Good:
The good parts of social media are that once you get the hang of it – you can use it as a very effective marketing tool. Use your social platforms to sell, but also to increase your reputation as a pro in the industry, to make your current clients feel loved and appreciated, to give consumers a look into the folks behind the scenes at your office, to connect with community members and businesses, as so on. Take a look at these articles to help you make your social platforms the best that they can be:

7 Secrets to Make Your Facebook Page Pop

Dr. Suess’ 7 Social Media Lessons

The 7 Cs of Building a Social Media Strategy

Have a great day,

The RP Crew

Comments are closed.