Imagine yourself in a crowded room. A crowded echoing room. Its packed with people, stuffed shoulder-to-shoulder, hip-to-hip, nose-to-nose, and toe-to-toe. And every single person, every last one, is talking.
Can anyone hear you? Maybe the more important question is, why would they want to?
Social media isn’t only a new venue of communicating, it’s a new mindset. Actually, it’s an entirely new world. It redefines how we listen, why we listen, and when we don’t. When you factor in the talking population inside the social media world, i.e. the friend requests and status updates and twitter feeds and blog posts, how can you ever stand out in the crowd?
Try avoiding this list of ‘don’ts’.
Don’t: Hide your humanity.
The social media world is, first and foremost, not a business world. It’s a social one. People go to connect with other people. While your organization might be fascinating, it isn’t a “he” or “she”. It’s still just an “it.”
Instead: Create a persona for your social media presence. One to two people inside your organization should be your “voice.” This creates a consistent persona. Then think in terms of holding a conversation. Instead of social media merely being an outlet to distribute information, think of it as a way to hold a one-on-one conversation – with thousands.
Don’t: Be perfect.
Ridiculousness happens to everyone. Murphy even made it a law. Before that perfect presentation, there was chaos. Before that stirring sermon, there was writer’s block.
Instead: Embrace the flaws. Show your audience who you are behind that curtain. Share funny stores. Or even embarrassing ones. Use this venue to be transparent, give them glimpses behind-the-scenes, or even just tell a joke, should the mood strike. This lets your audience know you are real. They want to be friends, first. Patrons, church members, followers, and customers, second.
Don’t: Forget to take a breath.
The social media relationship is like any relationship. You need to know when to speak, as well as when to shut up and listen. Over updaters get ignored, much like over talkers.
Instead: Don’t be afraid of silence. Give your audience a chance to fill the space. Daily updates do not a successful media relationship make. Speak when it’s relevant and when you have something to say. They’ll respect you for respecting their time and space.
Social media allows you to develop something more with your potential audience, it offers a chance to create relationships. Instead of being in a crowded room with strangers, you’ll find yourself in a crowded room with friends.
And that makes it far easier to find forgiveness when you step on someone’s foot.