Why You Gotta Be So Rude?
All too often we hear reports of how rude and to some harassment suit worthy the various corners of the internet have become in recent years. What once started out as this shining golden example of making life easier, or communication done with ease can at times feel like it has devolved into people shouting over top of one another, looking for a reason to argue or be offended; versus listening and having a discourse or reasoned debate that can be instructive. We should be using this wonderful technology to get to know more about our world and the people in it, we instead can find it a useful and identity cloaking tool to scream insults.
However, we at Parker Xavier Media work in social media everyday, and truth be told we see far more positives (Hey, we wouldn’t do what we do if we didn’t, know what I mean?) than negatives. I have personally overseen my own business grow and reach more people; one entity I own is solely managed day to day digitally and mainly via social media groups with people I have never met in person. But we also must bear witness to the ugly truths of our humanity, even in this glorious age of all things digital. We have composed below some hard truths, common sense points, and behaviors we encourage not just in ourselves but in our clients when we work with them to help them harness the positives on social media platforms and to not feed the trolls.
Keep It Positive Yo
Before you hit post think to yourself: “Would I say this to a person or to a business in real life, face to face?” Never post anything on any social media platform you would not say to someone’s face, ever. Just the golden rule. As well praise publicly, criticize privately. I may have concerns about how I was treated at an establishment, or the quality of their products in recent months, but unless all other communications (emails to the representatives, phone calls, speaking directly with their management on site) have remained unfulfilled, I will not post on their page a complaint.
To post a complaint on a brand’s FB page, or Tweet some sort of outrage without first attempting to resolve it in face to face methods kind of puts the blame squarely back on you. And to be frank, when you are complaining to larger brands you are most likely going to get some marketer (Hello!) who has a canned response and it becomes referred versus working it out directly. Constructively complain to the right person if you want the problem to be fixed. And to brands a word to the wise, a complaint is not the end of the world. If it’s a valid complaint most people will care more about how you fixed it rather than that it happened. Be present and ready to discuss when that time comes.
Build a Better Tomorrow, Today
Use your presence to actually build something, not just for you and your company, but for your community. Make people WANT to hear from you because you brighten their day, make them laugh, make them think. Constant negativity is all too present in our world and at times all we want to do is just escape that failcloud that seems to permeate every nook and cranny of not just our physical lives, but our digital ones too. There are many times where I will unfollow, take someone from a friend to an acquaintance or even disconnect entirely if it’s a continuous barrage of negative, whining, or failposting.
The wonderful thing about social media is that yes, it gives us all a similar impact and voice like nothing has before, but it also gives us ample selection of what we want to read or have input into our feeds. Build your brand socially the way you would physically, with care and consideration for not just your dreams but as well for the need of your community, this one is just online.
This Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be Miss Mary Sunshine All The Time
I know by now you are thinking I am recommending you construct a posting schedule that is unicorns and rainbows and newborn kittens; but there has to be a genuine nature underlying everything you do. Keep it real. If you genuinely have concerns about an issue effecting your profession or greater community, think about them before you make a public statement on your brand’s social accounts. This can be said of personal profiles or public brand pages. Think and evaluate your stance on issues effecting your business before you click Post.
I also recommend taking your well thought out position and making it into a blog post on your company site where you can work your way through important details and provide links to other pertinent points that back up your stance. Never post in haste. Always keep your wits about you as we have seen numerous times great careers spoiled by a hostile social response. Social media can spread something faster than any communication platform has before and what may seem like a small matter to some can grow into a much more significant event once all is said and done.
So in all, keep it positive, post constructive concerns when needed, but overall let people want to hear from you. These are key things to building a better brand socially, and truth be told physically too. Have any additional advice? Let us know in the comments below.