Mom Always Said…

To honor all the moms out there who not only taught us valuable life lessons, but who also (maybe unknowingly) laid the groundwork for strong social media values for us to carry through in our businesses, Happy Mother’s Day! Here’s to you and all that you’ve taught us!

Use your manners:

How many times did your mom tell you to “Use your manners”? This mom mantra is drilled into our brains from the time we can talk. So why is it that so many people, and even businesses, forget this golden rule when it comes to social media? Understandably, we live in a time where social media outlets have provided a new platform for us to share our opinions. It’s so tempting to respond to something you see, but it’s not always the best course of action if you are a business. In fact, don’t do it. Sit on your hands if you have to… whatever it takes to avoid saying anything that may damage your brand image.

As a business, especially a small business that often relies on their local community to stay alive, it’s mission critical that you not only use your please and thank you’s, but that you are respectful, too. Your brand reputation depends on it.

Don’t mix your personal life with your professional life:

Our clients often ask us if they need separate social media accounts for their small business. Our answer is always a resounding: yes! That’s because you are building a brand and that is different from reporting on what is happening in your personal life. A cute picture of your puppy may not seem like a bad choice, but those photos from your night on the town with friends probably don’t belong on your business page… again, think of your brand.

Ignoring someone is not cool:

Want to know what else is not nice? Not responding to comments or questions posted to one of your channels. In real life we call that ignoring someone, and that’s not cool (at least according to my mom). As a business in the social media world, not responding to comments or questions is called bad business practice. If a client or potential client makes a comment or complaint on one of your social media channels, they are giving you an opportunity to help them get clear on who you really are. Oftentimes, this makes for happy, loyal customers who will go on to share their positive experience with their social media audience, thereby attracting new customers for you. If you don’t have the time to respond yourself, assign this task to someone on your team. It’s that important.

Sometimes it’s better not to say anything:

Thumper’s mom (and mine too) had it right when she said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Guess what? The same holds true for social media. Play nice with your competitors. Trust me, it’ll go a long way. While you may not be able to measure the impacts of being nice, I bet you’d immediately feel the effects on your brand if you start smack-talking your competitors. We refer to it as “community over competition” and it’s real. Better yet, go the extra mile and compliment your competitors from time to time.

Don’t be “guilty by association”:

I used to hate it when my mom told me, “Not everyone is going to like you, and you’re not going to like everyone either. But you do have to always be nice.” I used to take offense. I thought, ‘What do you mean not everyone will like me?’ Guess what? She was right…. again. In social media, this means that not everyone will “like” or follow you, and you may not like or follow them back. And that’s okay! It all comes back to building your brand – finding your tribe. Liking or following the wrong person or business may tarnish the brand you’ve worked so hard to develop. Sort of like hanging out with the wrong crowd. Choose thoughtfully.

Hard work pays off:

There are about a million more life lessons that my mom taught me. But one of the most valuable ideals that she instilled in me is to work hard, at everything you do, because hard work pays off. It might not pay off the way you meant it to, but there’s always a lesson to be learned.

Hats off to all the amazing women and moms out there, who inspire us to be our best in business and in life. This Sunday, Mother’s Day, is in honor of YOU!

 

Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst