Check Your Social Accounts Twice
by Bill Nolan
Now that the New Year is almost upon us, I thought this would be an excellent time to reflect back on how we’ve used social media to our advantage or disadvantage for business over the past year. Have you been nice or possibly a little naughty? Have you been keeping your social accounts active, educational and professional? Maybe you’ve ignored being NICE for personal gain, and it’s finally catching up to you and your business. Well, it’s time for “Santa,” that’s me, to be the judge! You may want to check these off your list below.
Sleight of Hand
1000 followers and you only follow 20 people or businesses back. What? How is this possible? You must be really special, or you are playing a very rude game running rampant on social networks these days… sure to get you a lump of coal. There are users, not you of course, following everyone under the sun. When the people follow back the user immediately unfollows them. Why, you ask? It makes the person in question feel and look important, but most people are onto this game. It is flat out rude, and these players eventually lose their following. BE NICE – Don’t become obsessed with your follower count. Appreciate those who choose to follow you. Reward them, and follow back. This allows you to build your account and brand naturally, which always pays off.
All About You
This one is a big fat no-no with your social business accounts. It’s nice that you feel so highly of yourself and your business, but the reality is that business followers are out there to learn, connect and maybe laugh a little about a wide range of topics. Followers will consciously and subconsciously block posts if they are always about “me, me, me.” Think about it. Do you enjoy having a conversation with someone that only talks about themselves? This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post anything at all. BE NICE – Stick to what’s important. Post about your featured services, new employees, topics about your business niche, be crazy and re-share someone else’s post, post a cartoon, share a link from a related online publication or blog you like… the possibilities are endless.
All About You, Part 2
This one is the dark side of “You.” Sometimes you feel the need to get personal and business issues off of our chest. STOP! Consider what you are doing by taking this negativity to the social networks for all to read. Whether you’re posting on a business page or your personal page, it all leads back to the same place – the connected business’s bottom line. Remember, there is another side to every story and you could be opening a war of words for everyone to get entertainment. If you have concerns about staff, competitors, clients or anyone, airing this in public is extremely ill-advised and childish. Hinting that you have a problem in a post, for people to guess, is also ill-advised and extremely childish. BE NICE – and be an adult, all of these concerns are for private discussion directly with the people involved… if you really want to make things better.
This type of posting has really made its rounds lately, and I quote, “I’m going to see who reads this post until the very end (blah, blah, blah), and if you don’t comment, I’m removing you from my friend list.” This is one example of many posts floating around out there that I enjoy scrolling by and ignoring. Heck, I may even oblige them and remove myself from their “friend” list so I don’t have to see this silliness anymore. I know this is more personal branding than business, but it has to be said. BE NICE – Stop trying to blackmail your followers into liking and sharing something of yours. You may find yourself being purged from their lists.
The Wannabe Jet-Setter
AKA the pathological liar, in some cases, uses their accounts to create an alternate personality. Using social tools through Instagram, Pinterest, location check-ins and video, for example, people are creating lives that may not totally be real. Constantly, I repeat constantly, posting images of fast cars and fancy restaurants, sharing videos of travel excursions and checking-in at every location across the globe, plus always sharing your night-life may not get you the ROI you are expecting. It’s nice to share locations you are traveling for business and much deserved personal treats, but constantly cramming this down the throats of your followers may lead to a rebellion. They may start to wonder when you are actually working, and/or maybe you are little too big for your britches to deal with. I would like to say I am exaggerating here, but we all run into these players on different accounts. BE NICE – followers do enjoy seeing the fun and exotic side in moderation. You will be surprised the negativity this can stir inside some. Make sure these posts have meaning that is proactive. Put yourself in others’ shoes before posting.
Tag, You’re It
It is a useful feature to tag people and business, but unfortunately, it is an abused tool by so many. If you find yourself constantly tagging people and businesses in your posts to get attention, then you are without a doubt annoying someone… almost as bad as “Poking” them on Facebook. This one is simple. Used in moderation and with real purpose, tagging can be a useful and highly regarded practice. BE NICE – I repeat, used in moderation and with real purpose, tagging can be a useful and highly regarded practice.
Everything in Moderation
So you went on vacation or to a big tradeshow, we get it! What we don’t get is how you really took part in any of the trip yourself when you spent the entire time taking pictures and sharing them real-time on your social accounts. A few photos will suffice. A few hundred starts to get ridiculous. And oh wait, you just found another 100 photos from that trip when you got back – you know the shots of the same thing from every angle. These are the times we need to put ourselves in others’ shoes too. Would you enjoy this and actually look through all 500 photos of someone else’s trip? Or would you pass these posts by like white noise in the room? BE NICE – and wise. Share a couple of the best images that really get the message across. Save your full album for home or your business website. Here’s a thought, use a couple photos to thank the presenters or the staff of the location you visited… tagging appropriately and sharing a couple informational images all in one post. Now you get the picture!
Needless to say, taking part in any one of the above activities will surely get you put on “Santa’s” naughty list. Not only that, these habits may be very detrimental to your brand, personally and for business. Make a resolution, and BE NICE for the coming New Year. Start using your accounts in a more proactive way to benefit everyone, and you will enjoy a bigger ROI too. In the meantime, if you received a lump of coal while reading this list, use it as a reminder. And know this – at least you are on social media. Some businesses don’t even see its value yet! Ho-ho-ho! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017!