Small Business Marketing: Developing Appropriate Posting Habits
The internet has limitless applications, allowing a single sentence to be read thousands of times by people across the entire world, under the correct circumstances. This effect means that small business owners should develop and adhere to some internet etiquette, and if they are letting their employees represent their brand through social media and posting in industry forums, they should also be appraised of your standards. A social media policy is currently a necessary part of a small business internet policy, but knowing how to set standards in the first place can take a little bit of thought independent from this larger task. Here are some suggestions for creating appropriate posting habits on the part of yourself and your employees.
Double check your posts before you confirm them. It’s annoying, it’s another step, and it can wind up saving you a ton of headaches if you get into the habit of doing it. Had the social media employees at US Airways double checked their now infamous response to a customer service complaint, then they could have avoided a media fiasco. While most small businesses won’t get the same level of scrutiny as a major airline, they can still suffer if they carelessly post something offensive. Double check your posts, it’s just the smart thing to do.
Don’t escalate. It’s highly likely that you or one of your employees will have to deal with negative comments, or just plain belligerent behavior on the internet. It’s a phenomenon that arises out of the indirect, often anonymous nature of digital communications. It is essential to remember that while the person trying to get a response out of you doesn’t have anything at stake and might not even really care about what it is they are complaining about, you have an interest in protecting your digital image that is more important that winning an argument. In all of your communications, be as magnanimous as possible and do not lower yourself to the level of an antagonist. This is exactly what they are looking for. Maintain your composure and if someone gets out of hand, don’t be afraid to exercise your right to simply ignore them.
Try to keep things interesting. Posts on the internet will quickly go from interesting to irritating to ignored if there is no variety. Avoid saying the same things over and over again, and if you have multiple employees posting on your brand’s behalf, you should make sure that they know what they are supposed to be posting about so that they don’t all cover the same couple of points or share the same content. While it is important to retain your professional image on the internet, it is also important to make sure that you have a following in the first place. Content creation is the most popular and effective way to create organic interest in your web presence.
Photo Credit to Jason Carter on Flickr