I’m sure you’ve seen it too, those TMI social media posts giving you so much information about the person posting that sometimes you find yourself wondering why you’re friends to begin with.
The bigger problem though, is that they use this account to promote their home-based or small business. You love their business but the personal complaints, information ups, and downs are killing your desire to support them.
What we need to remember when using social media, is the last part of the word, MEDIA. It is a social platform to share NEWS. There are two types of NEWS: News that is relevant to family and friends (involves sharing potty or other accomplishments of your children, personal and professional successes etc.) and then news that is relevant to how you earn your paycheck. If the two aren’t directly connected, you may be hurting yourself more than helping.
For some, social media is their therapist, their doctor and their best friend. They post their personal struggles so that they can get the feedback from their ‘friends list’ in hopes to solve whatever problem plagues them. This can be addicting and often leads to even more and more personal posts on a more frequent basis.
While 25% of those on your friend list truly care, if you use your personal social media accounts for business as well, you could be losing money with each update written.
If you use your social media profiles to, let’s say, sell clothes, your potential customers don’t need to know that you just got some. They don’t need to know that you’re sick AGAIN (you were just sick last week) and they REALLY don’t need to know that your ex-husband is an asshole and hasn’t paid child support yet. The more often you post something negative or problem-oriented (meaning you always post about the problem and never the solution), you could be deterring someone from using your business.
Right now you might be asking yourself, why can’t I share what is happening in my life with my ‘friends’? It’s been said you need to be more personal on social media so that people will be able to connect with you. While this is a true statement, there is a limit to what needs to be shared and just how personal you get. The words ‘personal’ & ‘professional’ are spelled differently for a reason.
Let’s take for example a post I read recently that shared with the world that the person was receiving a visit from Aunt Flo. To my knowledge, there is no one outside of your doctor who actually has a vested interest in this information. But what does that mean to those who are looking to do business with you?
Well for one, they could see it as; if you are willing to share that much personal information about yourself, what kind of information are you sharing about your business transactions? Or, this woman has no sense of personal boundaries, I’m not sure she can be counted on to be a professional.
Also, if you are posting videos about your personal struggles, it could inhibit someone from doing business with you because they may see you as unfit or not capable of handling their business dealings.
This is where the term ‘personal branding’ comes in.
Let’s see this from another perspective. You decide you are looking for a new hair salon and decide to follow a few on social media to get a feel for them. You see a few posts from the salon sharing incredible before and afters of their clients. The posts involve color pictures, processes they offer, and the gorgeous results that you could get if you were to come in. Then all of a sudden the mood shifts. The salon starts posting negative comments about one of their stylists. She quit and took several of her clients with her. So the salon is now posting their ‘business’ on their business page, ridiculing, insulting and bad mouthing this stylist and calling her out by name. Would you continue to follow them as a potential or would you ‘unfriend or unfollow’ them and move on to another option? Most of us would ‘Bye Felicia’ the salon and look elsewhere.
So how do you handle this? For one, start a professional business page. Remove anyone who is a business contact from your personal page and encourage them to ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ you on your professional page. This way, you can keep your personal life well, personal and you won’t risk losing potential business. Keep your posts relevant to your brand, your mission and your demographic. Perfect your ‘lane’ of expertise and then expand once you have a strong following.
This new generation of marketing via social media, plus the increase in small businesses being opened up, it can be a bit confusing and the rules are all over the place.
Just remember, if you wouldn’t shop where dirty laundry hung, the likeliness is, that others wouldn’t either.
Keep your business page clean, and you’ll see your profits soar.