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As they both crossed the left leg over the right, Bob and Phil looked at each other knowingly: they were entrepreneurs, because it said so in their bios.
“We’re going to have to go into social media, Phil. Everyone is talking about it.”
“You couldn’t be more right, it is the logical next step for a music production company.”
“Do we know anything about social media?”
“It’s online, Bob!” He giggled.
Bob hated when Phil knew everything, but that was almost all the time.
Phil got online and had a good look and Phil found a wealth of information about social media. Words like engagement, conversation strategies and communities. Brand stories and pie charts on how exactly to make certain then you get the best out of your social platforms. All pretty much saying the same thing, Phil clung on to them. ‘Pitches’ he thought, as the sweat sprayed when he smacked his clammy hands together.
Phil was learning as he was going. As he was learning he too was ruining the reputation of a brand he was promising to protect, like a knight with a gammy leg and sword made of salami, he was probably not the right man for the job. It didn’t bother Phil, what Phil didn’t realise is that Phil wasn’t just ruining his reputation and the reputation of the brand, but Phil was giving social media a bad name. Not good Phil. Not for anyone.
Obviously a trend will bring new people in to try and make money and nothing is trendier than social media and Pretty Woman references. I just ask that if you are going to promise to represent a brand online that you follow a couple of guidelines to help you look somewhat professional.
1. Social media is not a sentence
Social media is an interwoven story of a brand’s life. Whether real or not, it is a paradigm of discovery for your audience. Relevance is not just a word for your arsenal of pitch words to win you some business.
2. The brand is always the hero
No matter how often you mention Ellen in a tweet, she is not going to get back to you. Your brand is a possible influencer, create its own identity without the aid of a celebrity who doesn’t even know what your brand is. Put your brand’s first.
3. Don’t use one profile to push another
Don’t cross market your personal brand or small business with your business. It’s not important and pretty much plays hand in hand with the fact that the brand is always the hero.
4. Spelling and grammar are important
Always. Social media is a social place where kids turn you into u and a smiley is a nice way of telling someone off with a wink but as a professional enterprise, I am not sure I would like to do business with a “winky” face. It is vital that you represent the brand in the best light, this light is a professional one.
Everything is content. Even when you answer a question on a thread, it is content.
5. Influence is relative
Just because I have a large following, it doesn’t necessarily mean I am influential about cross-stitch. You are better off using my grandmother to chat to her Tuesday knitting club than bothering with me. As you learn about social media you will begin to understand what influence and how it is best used, because influence can be expensive – for nothing.
6. Know how to mould a conversation
You don’t know how a community is going to act to your call to action, you do know to a degree what answers you want. So try and mould your level of questioning so that it accommodates what you are looking to find out about your communities. It’s like a line of questioning in a court room. Your learnings are there to give you better interaction – the currency of the community manager.
7. Understand communities
Unfortunately, this takes years of actually managing communities a skill more rare than public hangings, but once you find it – you have the run of communities. You’ll know when humour can batten down the hatches and how to deflect without harm.
Phil wrote a sentence and pushed enter, the status update appeared for his newly acquired brand.
“Like this if you like chicken!”
No one liked it.
“Hey BOB! No one likes my sentence on the social media!”
“Try again. This time say ‘retweet’!”
Bob was in awe of Phil. In total awe.