16 Jan Social Media Pitfalls
Today, I want to talk to you about the pitfalls of social media. Yesterday, I was following a thread on Facebook, in one of the business groups to which I am subscribed. There are about 2,000 members in this particular business group. It’s in my local business area, and we all try to help each other and encourage each other to answer questions. Of course, we do joint ventures and business.
At one point, someone yesterday asked a question, in regard to the current world economic financial crisis; a few things they didn’t understand. One or two people responded with some good replies, then someone came back, who was obviously quite knowledgeable on the area, with a very lengthy reply. I guess it did a little more than just answer the question. It also made the person who’d posted the original question seem foolish and silly, as in, “How can you not know this? What is wrong with you? Surely, this is plainly obvious.” That is the type of response.
Of course, when I say that, verbally speaking that, you’re probably thinking, “That wasn’t very nice.” You’re right, it wasn’t very nice. I guess, perhaps if it had just been left there, it would have been the end of the thing and I would have never made this particular post myself. However, it wasn’t the end of the thing. Someone then came to the defense of the original poster and criticized the way in which the long and lengthy response had been made, which was obviously derogatory towards the original post. Someone else then came to that defense and someone came to that defense, and again, and again. Over the space of a day, over 100 replies were posted in this particular thread.
There are only about a dozen people who were doing this, but each person felt it so vitally important that they justify their own position. They had to do so, and in particular, the fellow who had made the original reply, with the long, lengthy [inaudible: 02:25], looking down upon a response, came to his own defense and basically called the rest of the people there fools and unknowledgeable, and, how dare they make comment in things that they don’t know.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for people like that in my own business. You get the reminders from Facebook, and it kept coming up that someone had made a reply. I think three of four times throughout the day I’d drop back in just to see how this conversation was going. Let me say, it was going poorly. That led me to my thought for this particular post.
We must be mindful of what we write in social media. Here’s the thing, in that particular business group, there are about 2,000 people. Not everyone would have seen this line of commenting, which in my opinion, four or five people behaved poorly. They said things that truly should not be said, I think, from a respectable business person; just my own opinion. We all have our own, right? There are about 2,000 people in that particular group and maybe a quarter, 500 people, will see this actual post, either yesterday, today, or in the next day, or so.
Here’s the thing, each and every one of those people are business people in my local sector. I would hope at some point, that I have the opportunity to at least meet and greet, or perhaps joint venture or do business within some way. I will be a client to some of them. I hope many of them can be clients. Had I given my own thoughts, and they weren’t kind, in that public arena, about what was being said, some of those people, who like I, just watched, would have formulated a different opinion of me. Generally, I try to be upbeat. Generally, I try to compliment, rather than criticize. Sometimes, I get it wrong. We’re all human, but I try.
The thing is, whatever you post in social media, whatever you say, I believe . . . let me just make a note here, yes, we should be making and posting our opinions, but keep them on the point, not on the person. This is the key. When we’re making comment, comment on the point, not on the person, because whatever you say, others will see. Let’s say you make a post and 10 people like it, share it, or comment on it. Chances are, it’s been seen by at least 200 people, maybe, at least 100, possibly 50. We don’t know, it changes all the time. The thing is this, whatever you say, there are others standing back watching, and they will formulate an opinion of you, based on what you say.
In the future, if they’re looking some business, product, or service to do something to help them with something, and you offer that service and they see that you offer that service, there’s a good chance if you’re active in social media, there’s a good chance they are going to remember, “This person says things that I just don’t think are that good. They don’t fit with my philosophy.” For example, the fellow I saw yesterday, if I see his name come up again, I’m going to think, “You fool, you fool. Why did you do or say such things? I don’t want to do business with you. I don’t care about the money.” To me, it’s about the person and how much I can enjoy the experience. That’s what it is for me.
I’m just calling upon you today, please be mindful of what you say and what you post in your social media accounts. If you, like I, run a small business and you, like I, use the internet extensively for reaching out to future customers, be aware that these customers are watching you, even before they become your customers. If you’re positive, you’re encouraging, if you’re motivating, they will be drawn to you. If you’re not, they will leave, run away, and reject whatever it is that you are offering, no matter how good the product, no matter how good the price. They have to buy the person before the product.
That’s my point for today. Have a fantastic day. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye-bye.