Don’t Try To Be Fake On Social Media
If there is one hard and fast rule about using social media it is this: Don’t be fake.
Integrity is the most valuable commodity on social media. If you create a site or presence for your brand you better be ready to interact with fans, customers, clients and the occasional dissatisfied visitor. This doesn’t mean posting an endless stream of self-promotion,but true and sincere interaction. If you don’t, if you use social media merely as your own personal soap box it will fail to achieve the results you desire. Not only that but the resultant fall-out could potentially damage your brand or your company’s image.
As a professional social media manager I understand the difference between sincere interaction and lip service. I never impersonate my clients; I support them and promote their interests. If I am confronted with an issue, or if I encounter someone with a need for specific communication I make certain they are directed to the most relevant person.
I make certain my clients set achievable goals and we monitor those goals together to achieve the best possible results. I am not an outside contractor but an integral part of the team. Social media is much the same way: it supports the infrastructure, but does not replace it.
If you expect your social media network to deliver results than you need to treat it the same as you do any other part of your team. Monitoring, caring and integrity go a long way to ensuring that you will find the success you need from your social media plan.
In June, Stacey Gutman posted a noteworthy list of “The 6 Biggest Social Media Mistakes Brands Make.” One error really merits attention, and that’s getting “involved in social media without actually getting involved. It’s like getting a phone but ignoring every call that comes in.” You can’t establish a channel of social dialogue and then run it at will as though you’re turning on a faucet.
Large brands, accustomed to their marketing heft, are susceptible to this sort of arrogance. It’s all too easy for a brand to shrug off negative comments or appeals for help. Brands might risk being so cavalier in a one-way communication world. Today conflicts are very much played out in public, and the popular voice is naturally inclined to back consumer Davids locking horns with Goliath-sized brands.
People have a strong, natural drive for balance. It’s no surprise, for example that, as social media become so pervasive; the appetite for privacy has never been stronger. Manufacturers need to be especially wary of the distraction posed by chatter as psychological warfare. It’s not mastery of new forms of hype that will guarantee brand health.
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