You’ve heard the horror stories of companies that put their foot in their mouth when responding to customers or anyone else who posted on one of their social media sites. It’s enough to make a sane business owner opt out of social media all together. But is that wise?  How do you manage your interactions on social media?

  1. Don’t share controversial information (unless your business is controversy!)

You want to invite interaction and hope for a productive reaction to what you post but weighing in on topics that are lighting rods for divisive comments should be avoided.  If you are squarely merging personal and professional because what you offer is one in the same like a personal trainer or professional life coach so you ARE the brand then you may want to express your personality by revealing personal aspects of yourself and your passions. Some of those expressions may get a rise out of someone. But as a general rule, don’t seek out hostile interactions where your brand is represented on social media.

  1. Don’t overshare

In plain terms, don’t post relentlessly and prolifically. Clogging up your followers feed with endless photos, videos and pithy sayings will only succeed in alienating them and causing them to unfollow. You are what you share so share wisely and invite your followers to come on the journey with you.

  1. Do the right thing and be transparent

Whether a circumstance that is out of your control arises or a situation of your own making develops, businesses are always at some sort of risk of negative pressures that can spill out into social media. This might bring out the “fight or flight” response which can potentially make matters worse. First thing you should do when confronted with unflattering or negative social media attention is…breathe. Next, address the matter head on, truthfully and with dignity. This is not the time to get into a verbal row with someone on social media. This is also not the time to stick your head in the sand and hope it all goes away.  You candidness and willingness to resolve the situation goes a long way and can actually increase your credibility. Social media is also an excellent way to keep your constituency informed as the matter because a thing of the past.

  1. Do you know how to be consistent with your messaging?

Do be proactive and strategic in your overall messaging and how that extends to your social media platforms. Consistency in the images and language between your website, social media, packaging or other visual aspects of the business are so important.  Social media shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought of your marketing and awareness.  It is a primary platform to reinforce what you stand for and what you offer.  Treat it as a major player in your brand tactics. Your audience will notice if your social media strategy is not authentic so be authentic and consistent.

Don’t be afraid of social media and addressing your customers and followers.  You will find out some much more about what they need from you and what you can deliver and they will be more loyal and advocate for you. Sounds like a win-win.