Social media is a fantastic tool for your business. Having said that, there are things you simply should not post. These things are the time bombs of social media. They’re fine…until they’re not. Eventually, they will affect your engagement in a way that may not be beneficial. So unless these time bombs are directly relevant to your business, it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. So let’s talk about these explosive pieces of content and how they can be bad for business.
Your business is about you and your team (if you have one). Your social media should be a transparent reflection of that. It’s important to have a balance of content between you and all things not about you. The goal is to give people value and that can come from other sources or content pieces. Have you ever gone to a party and met someone who just wouldn’t stop bragging about themselves? That’s what it feels like when your social media posts are self-absorbed. This doesn’t mean that you’re being arrogant or even selfish, just that it’s TOO much about you. Perception is a funny and sometimes arbitrary thing.
How can this possibly be one of the time bombs of social media? Because people will get tired of seeing only you. They’ll pass judgments that may be inaccurate. It’s less engaging after a while. It’s repetitive, boring even. Spice it up with content about or from other people and things. TV Shows die when the plot becomes too predictable, you don’t want your social media to have the same fate.
I mean, do we really have to publish that this is the worst of the time bombs of social media? We do, because what does this mean, exactly? Don’t bash anyone publicly. If you have to respond to negative comments with accurate information that’s negative in nature, try keeping the verbiage very diplomatic. I’ve seen far too many times people posting their negative dirty laundry to the world. This customer did this. That customer did that. Don’t do business with these people. Be very careful about this tactic. If you have nothing nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it all unless you have to.
Be careful how you talk on your personal page because it’s a reflection of your business. There’s no exception for your team too. What they say is how you will be judged. I’m aware there’s always a chance for a fine line but walk it carefully. Not only will people disconnect from you, but they’ll warn others to do the same.
It’s hard to be educational and entertaining without being repetitive. It’s hard to be impacting without being in-your-face. Imagine going to a comedy show and a standup tells the same jokes the entire show. Now image there being double to commercials in your favorite TV show.
That’s repetitive and that’s excessive. Both are ticking time bombs because they’ll cause people to walk away. It’s annoying, uninformative, and not entertaining in the least and that’s what people want.
It’s hard to navigate facts when it’s so easy to publish content on both sides of the same coin. So go with your own knowledge, experience, and opinions in your industry. Use your trusted sources and do your due diligence in your research. We’ve all posted something that was easy to debate or that had false information. If you do it time and time again you will lose too much credibility. That will lead to a lack of trust, which could lead to a really significant loss in sales. This is the most overlooked of the time bombs of social media.
Politics, Religion, Sexuality
Every 4 years this seems impossible. It’s OK to make jokes, it’s OK to have polite conversations. It’s not okay to act like a 5-year-old and that’s the political trend of social media. There’s a reason people say to never post-politics. It makes people act out of emotion and that can sometimes be like adding oxygen to a forest fire. It’s usually not worth it when someone finally causes a massive argument. Especially for a business page.
Religion isn’t that different from politics as far as your posting strategy goes. I would, however, encourage people to advertise their affiliation if it’s important to them. Like saying “We are proud to be a Christian Company” on your website or a blog. That’s fine but don’t make a large number of references to religion if it isn’t directly relevant to your business. It’s just too inviting for debate and you don’t want that on social media.
Bad publicity isn’t as good for small entrepreneurs as it is for big business. Nike and Chik-Fil-A survived the fallout of their controversy but could you? That’s why these two topics are always going to be ticking time bombs on social media. People won’t just walk away.
I would also say that sexuality falls into place here. While I would encourage you to be yourself, I don’t think anyone’s sexual preferences or business needs to be the highlight of content. It’s only going to invite a lot of attention that you don’t want, which distracts from what you’re trying to offer.
Unless your clientele is of a specific group in any of these categories, you don’t need to make any of them a focal point of your posting. There’s plenty else that can be included here too. Race, gender, etc. Always use your judgment and be mindful of how it will affect the message you really want to send.
What time bombs have you experienced in your social media marketing? I’d love to hear how they’ve affected you, and how you handled them. If I didn’t include any on this list that should be, let me know so we can add them! Let’s connect and hangout on Facebook, where I’d love to talk to you more.