Social Media is Real Life
by: Rebecca Walton
There's an undertone opinion about social media that cripples the user into thinking that he or she is protected from the real world -- like, "this mask will protect me from being exposed." If you choose to believe this falsehood, then maybe you are not a business owner or entrepreneur; (and oh yea, there is a difference between the two. Research it.)
For the one who is a part of the 75% of the human race that use the internet to conduct business, social media is not a mask. It is phonic mirror of sorts that resonates small, but significant portions of your business reality. What you post or not post (say or not say) is a direct reflection on the quality of your service and or product. Yes, that means social media is not the valueless escape from reality that most people mistakenly see it as. It's real. Why, because the people who engage in it are real. (At least the ones who aren’t using spam are.)
Real opinions are formed -- about your candles, houses, cupcakes, clothes, music and ideas that you push through Facebook boosts and LinkedIn ads -- by the mere cover and profile images you portray. The latest vine you share can make or break your next sale, by the simple favor or nay of a customer who's perusing your timeline. It sounds daunting against your freedom as an individual. But just like you are particularly careful in your appearance when you attend a network mixer for an exclusive group you desperately want to be a part of for the growth of your business; it's imperative to the success of your online sales and SEO that you stream what's favorable to the greatest number of people in your target market.
Don't take this as an attack against your personal freedom to have fun and say what you want. Take heed to the fact that your social media content is a direct reflection of your own world -- a world that has boundaries. Not everyone is privy to what you really think about President Obama and equal rights for same sex couples. So to, not everyone should have access to your opinion about the latest reality TV show. Set your privacy settings accordingly (THEY REALLY DO WORK) and use each social media account for the benefit of growing your business. Don't stab yourself in the foot if you don’t have to. Treat each account with the respect it is due. You wouldn't show up at a marketing seminar in a backless halter mini dress; don't give your professional network and people who don't personally know you access to your personal timeline feed.
Facebook is relaxed. It's turned into a platform for your own personal pub. Say your relaxed controversial and weird opinions here if you must (to your own family and friends). Stop making potential leads your friends. They are not your friends. They are leads.
LinkedIn is not relaxed. Its slogan literally says, "World's Largest Professional Network" -- Key word, professional. Pay close attention to the tone and parameters of each social media account. Twitter is literally 140 characters of what's trending at all times. It's not a place to find a job and even try to connect with people. It's the world's main source of trending topics.
Use these tidbits of knowledge to help you maximize your social media business experience.
What you say or don't say on social media can literally make or break its life.