The recent story of an individual in America, who was “outed” for moderating content deemed to be offensive on Reddit, has sparked yet another round in the debate as to what is and isn’t allowed online. Should internet users suffer real-life repercussions, such as the loss of their job and negative worldwide public attention, when they haven’t done anything illegal?
This brings me to the subject of content and what you put out into the public sphere. Usually, we talk about what kind of content you should post to encourage more followers. This requires looking at the audience you wish to appeal to and developing a marketing plan, with clear objectives, strategies and metrics. What are they talking about and where? Usually for us, this begins with speaking with your business and working closely on this, before slowly taking the reins as you feel comfortable with what we’re doing.
Just as important is what NOT to post. This would definitely be anything that might offend or cause controversy, and of course this can be very subjective. Some say that ‘controversy creates cash’, but this is a bit over-the-top and can be dangerous; especially so when you run a simple business with a traditional customer base. A good rule of thumb is not to post anything related to drugs, sex and violence, but you may also wish to stay away from issues such as race and class which can be a minefield to navigate.
Though you can bet your competition is already making full use of the various social media networks out there, there are those out there who aren’t (that might even be including you). In some cases, this is because they don’t know what they would tweet, or what photos to post if they did have an account. This can lead to some treating the company Twitter as their own personal dalliance with social media, which can be risky. While it’s always important to be personable, how long is it before you start bringing into play your personal social or political views? Could you be alienating a section of your customer-base with what you’re tweeting? The point of social media is for new customers to get to know you, invest in you and turn to you when they require your services; not to learn why you disagree with the Tories. It is possible that you can put a bad taste in the mouth of your audience if you affiliate yourself too closely with a particular ideology. No one wants another person’s views pushed on them.
Many who come to us looking for social media services simply require their networks to be maintained, with queries answered and to build an audience. We can also help with driving traffic to websites and establishing relationships within key circles in your industry. Most clients aren’t looking to set the world on fire, or become the next Martin Luther King; but simply grow their business and stick their flag in the social media moon.