Homespun Wisdom That Applies To Social Media

Some things never change. Even in this fast-paced, digitally driven, marketing-focused world of business, we can still take the advice that our grandparents passed down to us and apply it to our social media strategy (as well as our everyday lives, of course).

In the world of online communications, it’s all about playing nice and playing fair. We create content in the hope that others will share it. In turn, we share our knowledge, experiences and insights so that others can learn from us. When people share our content, they attribute the source to us, sharing credit and spreading our reputation. Fairness is inherent in social media etiquette.

What did our grandparents teach us that translates to good social media-ing online?

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

Silence might be death on social media. What is the value of a Twitter account that does not tweet?

But steering clear of certain topics might sometimes be a good idea when it comes to your business account on social media. Many businesses, for example, are keen not to align themselves politically to any particular party as this might alienate consumers who disagree with you.

Your company social media accounts are not the place to express personal views about politics or sensitive and divisive social issues. You need to be aware of turning off your audience. Even those who agree with your views may not agree with your decision to express them in this way.

Remain silent on topics that could make you look a fool. Talk about the weather instead. It might not be earth-shattering, but it will keep you – and your business – from looking ridiculous on social media.

If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.

In a similar vein, many marketers have recognised the value of well-executed customer service on social media. When customers complain about your product or service on your social media profile, take care to respond in a helpful, polite and, where appropriate, apologetic manner.

Do not argue back. Do not make the complaint personal by getting involved in an argument. Simply work to resolve the issue and hope that the customer walks away from the situation feeling cared for and satisfied.

“Don’t say anything at all” becomes an issue here. This absolutely does not apply when the customer has approached you with a complaint. You mustn’t ignore this. If needs be, walk away, count to ten and calm down (all great grandparent-type gobbets of advice). Then respond calmly and respectfully.

When not to say anything at all

Don’t express strong, potentially controversial, divisive or political personal beliefs on social media. Just don’t do it. There is no need to do it. Why would you do it? Who will benefit from a rant publicised by your business social media profile?

Certainly not you, that’s for sure. Keep quiet when you don’t have anything nice to say about some current affairs to ensure you don’t offend or disengage your followers.

Sharing is caring

Share other people’s content. Your followers value content that is relevant to them and will appreciate the interesting thoughts penned by others. Give people credit for the content they have created that you have shared.

It’s not about harbouring techniques, strategies and ideas all to yourself, keeping them tight to your chest and not letting anyone else near. Share your thoughts through blog posts and social media updates. If you have advice that people will find useful, share it with them.

This will grow your following and establish you as a thought leader. People will value your social media profiles and look to you for advice and ideas. This reflects well on your business and grows your brand.

Let us know your thoughts

What else did your grandparents tell you that can be applied in social media marketing and to general online etiquette?

Tell us what you think. Contact us on our social media channels. Tweet us, Facebook us, or write on our Google+ and LinkedIn pages.

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