Saturday, January 26, 2013

CAUTION! Be Careful With Your Online “Voice”

Be Careful With Your Online “Voice”
We have all been warned everywhere (even on Dr. Phil!) that once something is on the internet it is FOREVER.
The purpose of this is not to support or negate that statement or belief.
 What I feel  important is to share with you is that dipping your business’s toe in the Social Media pond: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Pinterest, et al  is not anything to be taken likely.
I recently heard a presenter on Social Media at a seminar state two things to many non-Social Media business users that made be scared for them a bit. They  were:
·         Jump on in, the water is fine
·         Be sure to inject your personality into your postings
The reason this concerned me for these eager business owners was that what was not expressed was that your business’s Social  Media posting/s are a crucial part of your branding. Importantly, what this, means is that it should have a planned strategy, purpose, desired outcome, target, etc. -  just like any other facet of your marketing plan. Hopefully, you have a marketing plan, but if not, at a minimum, give thought and planning into your online strategy before you just jump in the water. `And if you don’t know where to start, get help. Personal help is best. Most books are too vague for first-time toe dippers ;)
Many (especially small businesses) are almost in a panic about not being in Social Media, but I caution anyone to strategize or seek a marketing professional strategist to examine your business, its target and your brand to help you incorporate Social Media into your marketing mix. Don’t act on a whim and rush to get into it because everyone is doing it and you feel late to the ball.
Example Scenario of Why Not to Rush In Without a Planned Voice and Brand Consistency:
A product start up with an excellent offering and an owner/founder with a challenging personality was not engaged in Social Media/Marketing in any way.
He personally setup his Social Media presence and managed it himself.
There were some not- so - flattering comments made on the Social Media venues.
He  (the founder) personally responded to the comments by defending his position, arguing with
the posters’ points and degrading the posters’ for making their comments.
With this course of action, ALL future  posts were then about how unprofessional the founder’s posts were and ANY talk of the product ceased to exist. The opportunity to promote this good product were extinguished.
I hope from the true life example above I have illustrative the caution I ask you to make before you:
·          Jump on in, the water is fine
·         Be sure to inject your personality into your postings
Mary Mussard Woods is an executive marketing, operations and general management consultant. Mary is extremely experienced with all situations and industries, fiscally prudent and produces,