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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Social is the key word in "social media"

You go to a party and there is someone you haven't met before. This guy spends hours talking about how great he is, putting others down when their opinion is different than his, and even outright lying to make himself look better. I think we would all agree this is antisocial behavior, and this is exactly how many individuals and organizations handle their social media strategy.

There are many involved in antisocial media, they may even offer a few shallow incentives to get more friends, fans, and followers. But they never listen to those people who have agreed to be part of the conversation with them.

A couple tips to stay out of antisocial media:
  • - Offer your fans something without worrying what you are going to get in return. Whether it be advice, a discount, anything to be a resource. People know when they're being sold to, and would rather have someone being a resource than a salesperson.
  • - Be a part of the conversation, don't just use social media to advertise to everyone, it is a medium that requires being a part of the party.
  • - Know that you will be criticized, and train employees and other customers how to react to criticism. Never allow an employee to criticize those who comment on your blog or other pages. You cannot put out a fire with more fire. Reach out to the upset customer, and if there is no pleasing them, just let it go.
  • - Be human, a business is made up of people. Your customers are people. Everyone should be on the same level, rather than a hierarchy that puts the business on top. We rely on customers for our living, so they are just as much a part of the party as those who are hosting.
Think about others, and truly be their friend.

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