Many small business owners do not feel it’s important to integrate social media into their business and this is often due to incorrect beliefs surrounding social media. The truth is that used correctly, social media can enhance the reputation of your business as well as boost your productivity. Since for many small businesses and entrepreneurs their business is closely connected to them as individuals, social media can enhance your personal reputation as well.
Despite numerous benefits for incorporating social media marketing in your business, there are some mistakes to avoid on social media in order not to damage your online reputation. Let’s explore three of those mistakes.
Inconsistency with Your Personal Brand
Inconsistency with your personal brand is a mistake you should avoid. Keeping your brand consistent across all social media platforms is one way to manage your online reputation. This means that you should use similar or the same headshot, the same logos and banners across all platforms, as well as the same information about you and your business.
By inadvertently leaving something off or being inconsistent with your description, you may confuse someone or make them think you’re being less than honest. This could affect how others view you. It’s also important to double check to make sure that everything you say and do supports who you are and how you want to represent yourself as online.
It’s almost impossible to be anonymous on the Internet because various sites require that you sign in via Facebook, Google, Twitter, WordPress, etc. in order to make a comment or participate in online discussions. The challenge is knowing where to draw the line between your personal and business life because it really is important to keep your personal and business separate.
It is true that people do business with people they know, like, and trust, which means that even when doing business online it’s important to reveal something about yourself so that your market will get to know you. However, just as it would not be normal or acceptable for you to discuss certain aspects of your personal life at a networking event with other business owners, you would want to exercise caution in how much you reveal about your personal life while using the Internet to market your business.
The 2011 Cone Online Trend Tracker survey revealed that 4 out of 5 consumers changed their minds about a recommended purchase based solely on negative information they found online. This highlights the impact that negative personal or business information can have on your small business.
Over sharing on Social Media
Keep in mind that you do not own any of these social media platforms and although they each have their individual privacy settings, which allow you to control what others see, you have no way of knowing who has access to see everything you post. Pictures are among the most damaging on social media because they can be quickly shared with others.
Before you post a picture, ask yourself if this is something you would mind seeing this on the front page of the New York Times. Stop and consider that rather than making you likeable, over-sharing often repels people who may wonder why you feel it’s important to share intimate or very private details on social media.
It’s becoming more frequent to read something in the news about someone who said something that was taken out of context or said in jest that gets someone into a lot of trouble. People have lost jobs, clients, and even entire businesses because of making some of the above mistakes on social media. Don’t become a statistic.
Do you need help in monitoring your online reputation, get your copy of “The Small Business Guide to Online Reputation Management” today.