This week, I’ve been talking to a lot of small businesses about their social media and I’ve been shocked to discover the kind of advice they’re getting from ‘expert’ social media consultants.
Businesses often rely on advice from consultants and specialists. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s a system that works pretty well on the whole. The problems arise when the advice is wrong, or worse, potentially damaging.
The True Cost
I’ve made it my business to ask as many businesses as I can about the social media advice they’ve had. Sometimes the advice has been free, but at other times it’s been pretty expensive. On many occasions, the true cost of that advice hasn’t been realised until much later.
The fact is that business social media advice can be just as important as the advice you get from your Accountant (that’s CPA for our American readers) or business advisers. Why? Because doing the wrong things can sometimes cost you your business reputation or lose you the trust of your clients. Can you afford to risk that? I know I can’t.
Is This You?
For example, one of the things I’ve been hearing a lot of lately is that old comment: “my web designer told me that I should make my social media more efficient by connecting all my accounts together. That way I only have to make one status update and it automatically gets blasted out to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn”
Well, here’s my advice: don’t do it!
I’ve been hearing that advice for months, possibly years. Frankly, I had hoped people had stopped recommending it. It seems I was wrong. It was bad advice then and it’s even worse now.
If you do have your accounts set to broadcast simultaneously, please stop immediately. Every platform has its own personality, with language that’s appropriate to it. You wouldn’t use the same language in the boardroom with a client as you might use at a football stadium would you? Then why think it’s acceptable to do that with your social networking? It takes a little more work, but it is absolutely worth tailoring the language and content of your messages to be appropriate for each platform you use. It shows respect and your messages are much more likely to be heard and understood. We can tell immediately when you do it. Hashtags on Facebook or LinkedIn? Really?
The Next Step
If your web designer or social media adviser recommended linking your social media accounts like this, think about whether their advice is best for your business. Maybe they’re not as expert as they think they are. You’d be better off muddling along on your own. Of course, if you want to do better than just muddle along, find a social media specialist, with experience, that you can trust.