Manners Still Matter On Social Media

Posted on September 26, 2012 by LCT Magazine

Social networks such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest can create conversations between customers and companies that develop into a profitable relationship. It has never before been easier for businesses to share information, insight and intimacy with consumers. An effective social media strategy injects a brand with human blood, creating the opportunity for an emotional connection, a story clients are compelled to escape into.

But broadcasting the wrong information and wrong type of intimacy, like gripes about unfavorable bowel movements or photos of a sloppy Sunday happy hour, creates a story that clients feel they need to escape from. One click on the Unfriend/Unlike/Unfollow button is all it takes to banish a business into the digital darkness.

LCT’s most recent marketing tip, Balancing Act: Don’t Blur The Line Between Professional and Personal, explains what is inappropriate for a business to share on social media and how executives and employees can avoid a fiasco from a digital faux pas. A photo or status update may seem innocent to the eyes of the employee or exec posting it, but it may be inappropriate for consumers and negatively impact a brand’s image.

With that said, remember that a sense of humor and desire to be dynamic can help consumers connect with a brand, but only if deployed tactfully. So how does a company avoid offending fans and followers without being boring?

My common sense advice about social media is this: If you wouldn’t share it during a sober networking function or business meeting, don’t share it on social media.

At some point, a company might develop such strong rapport with its clients so as to be a little more edgy with what it shares through social media, but it’s still a good idea to keep politics, religion and other sensitive subjects out of the conversation (unless, of course, your company’s identity is inextricably tied to those subjects).

If you can’t help yourself from sharing your thoughts on sensitive and controversial topics that may ostracize a certain segment of your potential client pool, then consider creating social network accounts specifically for business contacts only.

Just as strangers (which is what prospects are) may not care to know about how the symphony in your stomach created by the rib-eye and read bean ragout you had for lunch surprised the crap out of you, your friends and family may be bored to death with tweets about your new customer feedback policy. 

Read the latest LCT marketing tip by clicking here.

— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

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