Lately there has been a rash of virtual situations being made into funny videos, such as my favorite, A Conference Call in Real Life, in which a conference call is played out in a real conference room with all the awkward pauses, technology failures and dogs barking in the background. If you have ever been on a conference call, this is a MUST watch. It got me thinking about other virtual scenarios and what they would look like if played out in real life. And, you can use this as a guide for what is and what is not approriate in social media.
Here are a few examples of what not to do in social media:
Social Media Shouting
Rather than walk into my friend’s home with a bottle of wine and ask how she is doing, here’s how it goes:
I pound loudly on the door. I burst in and say, “Hurry! If you reply within two minutes, I will sell you this watch for 50% off! Hurry though because this offer will expire soon! My friend replies, “Oh, no thanks I already have a watch. What can I get you to drink?” I reply, “Did you hear about my new car? And my new house and my latest, greatest idea?”
Get the idea? No one wants to hear only about you, you, and you (and that goes for your company as well).
Neglecting to complete your online Profile (especially LinkedIn):
I walk into a business networking event and hand my business card to everyone I meet. Except, it only contains my name. I didn’t have time to include my phone number or email. I’m so busy that I never got around to it. That’s OK because I’m not really looking for a job and no one really cares about business cards.
Hello!? This would never happen. No one would produce a business card without all the pertinent info, so why do you have your LinkedIn profile out there with gaping holes? It will take about an hour to do a good job – time well spent.
Neglecting to have a social media policy:
Letting your employees go crazy with social media reminds me of this commercial “Working with Monkeys” by CareerBuilder. Your employees can be your ambassadors, but they need to be trained and guided.
If you think about social media as it relates to the real life scenario, it becomes a guide for how to post, tweet and engage. Before you tweet something, ask yourself, “if my colleague were standing here in front of me, would I say this?”. If the answer is yes, and the context is appropriate, then you have a green light. I’ll follow up with more of these examples and please feel free to add your own!