Are You Killing Your Brand With Social Media?
I have always been a keen observer of people. It probably dates back to the days, more years ago than I care to recall, that I was trained in Body Language interpretation by one of the leading trainers. That interest in observing people has never left me. Nowadays we have the opportunity to observe people and businesses up close as they interact with us through the internet and especially through the various social media sites.
The problem with drawing conclusions about people and businesses through the social media sites is that we are limited to the words on the screen. That is, of course unless they choose to use video. However, for the purposes of today’s post I am going to focus on the words on the screen.
There are people and businesses, both large and small, using Social Media to do an incredible job of building a positive image of their brand. But there are some who are slowly (and not so slowly in some instances) killing their brands and businesses with their use of Social Media. In some cases, it beggars belief how contrary the words they put on our screens are to the way in which they have positioned their brand. In other instances I have observed I am sure it is nothing more than naivety.
So let’s take a look at some of the things I have observed over recent weeks together with some suggestions as to the approach you could take:
1. Passive aggressiveness (snide comments and the like) to people who are seen as competitors – the reality is that if you are in business then there are going to be other people in the same business as you. If you encounter other businesses why not seek to collaborate with them? Rather than compete why not see how you can work together?
2. Failing to respond – this is a big problem for small businesses (and some larger ones!) and earlier today I was reading a report that said only 30% of people trying to ask questions through social media sites got responses to their question. If you are going to promote your brand/business on sites such as Twitter then you need to ensure that you are responding to customers and potential customers.
3. Appearing to delight in other’s failure – However, hard we might try we all make mistakes from time to time. When I see people delighting in other’s failure I am sure it is entirely unintentional and indeed intended as humorous commentary. The problem with words on a screen is that we don’t have the nuances of tone, inflection and body language that we would have face to face. That means that what might seem a “funny” comment when you are with someone becomes a snide and mean-spirited comment when seen on screen. Others of course, it would appear, simply delight in putting down others. When you think that many businesses are about building others up and promoting them it’s a little contradictory. So rather than delighting in other’s failure focus instead on the positive, support others and should the day come that you make a mistake you will find people rallying to your support.
These are just three of the types of brand killing behaviour I have seen on social media sites. Make sure that you focus on the positive and keep building your brand rather than being another business that joins the list of “will not deal with them” that more and more people are compiling.