Social Media is Like a Cocktail Party – Don’t Be That Jerk in the Room

Although the title sounds rough, this is a short-but-sweet post about understanding how to behave as a brand on social media 🙂

Not every business can afford to hire a comms expert or even outsource their social media. That’s even more true for small or family run businesses. Most everyone today understands the important role that social media plays in their marketing mix so many entrepreneurs will take it on themselves or have the B.D. team handle it … or in the case of the inspiration for this post, ask a family member to help out until they have the budget to hire a pro. When I saw a friend’s luxury brand all of a sudden super active on social media last week and literally doing every single thing in the book 100% wrong I reached out. 

Turned out his wife had taken over social media and was learning as she goes…sadly giving his luxury brand a negative makeover that was very off-brand. She was open to a quick workshop so I shared the best practices for YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and within a day she had renamed the accounts to something easy to find, stopped being so ‘me me me’ focused, and started using hashtags right, it was great!

Don’t Be The Jerk in the Room

Aside from naming the accounts something that made them impossible to find via a simple search, the biggest mistake they were making was acting cocky and boastful on social media. They are the sweetest group of people with a great business but their posts were all about them and how awesome they are (they were literally calling themselves the ‘best’ in their city). Instead of just talking up their clients in the photos or using 2015 content marketing best practices to share useful information, their ‘social’ accounts turned into over-the-top hardcore marketing channels that weren’t very social and not at all luxury in feel. 

Think of Social Media as a Cocktail Party 

  • Generally speaking, people want to have fun at a cocktail party. If they are networking, they want to actually get something out of their time. The same is true for social media. It’s a place to have fun, catch up on the news of the day (both personal from friends and family and from favourite brands and news sources), and to get inspired.
  • The favourite person at a cocktail party is the person remembered for being positive, inspiring, had something fun or interesting to share with others, who made people laugh, and who was friendly and inviting.
  • The person who is remembered as being an absolute asshole is the jerk who does little more than brag about themselves, talk non-stop about how awesome they are/all the things they have/their success, and who doesn’t seem to care about anyone else because they don’t ask questions or compliment anyone but Numero Uno. The same is true on social media…because no one wants to feel they are being marketed to 24/7.

It’s understandable that social media can’t always be handled by a professional. Just keep in mind that aside from your website that it is the #2 most visible tool you have to entice new customers, employees and partners to your brand. So before a novice begins, I’d suggest paying for even a one hour workshop with a social media expert so they will at least have the basic knowledge of best practices when they start promoting your brand publicly – for the world to see and judge – on social media. This way chances are far less than they ever turn your social media presence into that jerk at a cocktail party.

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