Social media is a great tool. But like all tools, you have to use it correctly. What happens if you misuse a saw? You break the blade or worse, injure yourself.
Here are a few ways that you can use the tools of social media without ending up with a broken blade or missing body part.
Do: Use Social Media to market your business
Don’t: Use social media to market your personal business.
You would be crazy not to use social media as part of your marketing strategy. Between the reach of Facebook, the ability to share your portfolio on Instagram and quick messages on Twitter, it’s not the kind of visibility you can pass up.
You can reach hundreds or even thousands of potential customers, as well as keep your current customers filled in on your business’ happenings. Social media is an important tool for any business and can create goodwill between your business, your customers and your community.
However, nothing ruins all that goodwill quicker than a post that irks your audience, or worse, alienates them. You might not think that tweet about the current administration was polarizing, but there’s a good chance someone who read your post didn’t appreciate it.
And in these days of keyboard warriors, they most likely let you know about it… and then tell their friends about it. It’s best to keep your business posts about business. Unless the current (or previous one for that matter) administration’s actions directly impacted your business, the safest approach is a quiet one.
Do: Show off pictures of your last big project.
Don’t: Show off pictures of your last big bender (or other social gatherings)
This is another no brainer. As soon as you’ve completed a project (and you get permission) post those pics of the finished product on your page. Talk about the materials you used, the techniques involved and any entertaining anecdotes about the process. People love to see before and after photos and hear the ins and outs about projects, as well as the stories about the process.
Pictures like that are very sharable, and not only might you inspire someone else to do the same thing, they just might contract with you to do it for them. So share everything that has to do with finished projects or even in-progress jobs.
But that’s as far as the sharing should go. Anything more than that and you run the risk of ticking off part of your customer base. For example, posting pictures of you’re a-little-too-inebriated self at the last office party – even if it was in celebration of being named business of the month by your local council – might give some people pause. It’s a better idea to just leave the photos to finished projects and other strictly business-related items.
Do: Post your customers’ glowing recommendations.
Don’t: Post your gripes about customers.
If your customers want to sing your praises, by all means, post that on your social media pages. If they want to post photos, talk about how awesome you are, what great work you do, etc., run with it. Word of mouth advertising is awesome and works better than a high-priced ad. If you’re fortunate enough to have customers who will endorse you in such a way, then take advantage of it.
But if a job didn’t go as well as planned or you and a client that was less than pleasant, you probably shouldn’t talk about that on social media. It might seem unfair, but customers can bash you ‘til the cows come home, but unless they’re saying things that are untrue or libelous, you pretty much just have to take it.
But if you rant and rave about what a pain your last client was and how you didn’t enjoy the experience, that’s just going to come back to bite you. At the end of the day, you are the professional and they are the client. And even when the customer is wrong, the customer is still right.
Do: Share your opinions about industry trends.
Don’t: Share your opinions about politics.
People will come to your social media pages if they think you have something interesting and valuable to say. So, share trends and what’s new in your industry. Explain about the latest class you took related to the latest techniques in construction. Your readers and customers will appreciate your sharing the information and the fact that you strive to stay on the cutting edge of your profession.
But as with everything else, there might be some subjects in which you might consider yourself an expert that could turn off current and potential customers. Politics are a good example. Just as we advised not to share your views on current or past administrations, sharing your political insights, in general, is a bad idea too.
Whether you’re a liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, there’s a good chance that whichever stance you take, there’s going to be a portion of your audience that is the opposite. So, feel free to be red or blue on your own time just don’t say anything that might rob you of the other important color: green.
You have a right to your opinions and to also express them. But if you want to avoid the repercussions that might come with these views, it’s best to leave them off the business’ social media pages.
Have you ever said anything on social media you regretted?