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Is Your Social Media Strategy “Real”?

September 3, 2010 | By | No Comments

Is your social media strategy “real”?

Be your authentic self.

No, this isn’t the subject of the latest Dr. Phil episode. Instead it’s a guiding statement to help you showcase your brand’s genuine personality through social media.

What’s authenticity? Quite simply, it’s about being “real” and not being a fake, a poser, or a sham. And there’s no quicker way to flub social media than by acting like something you’re not, whether you’re interacting on a Lord of the Rings bulletin board or writing a brand profile on a social networking site. So here’s a quickie guide to being “real” in a world full of avatars and screen names:

  • Be genuine – That doesn’t mean you need to blog about the customer service manager who got blitzed at happy hour or the industry-changing product you have in development. However it does mean that you should build trust with consumers by having an honest conversation about the brand. For example, if there’s a problem with a product, let customers know you’re aware of the complaints and are looking into them—and then do exactly that: look into them.
  • Be genuinely sorry – Screw-ups are inevitable. When they happen, don’t sweep them under the rug. Rest assured, they’ll eventually come out with the rest of the dust bunnies. Instead admit honestly and in easy-to-understand terms that you made a goof and take appropriate actions to rectify it.
  • Be transparent – Jeremy Toeman, guest writing on Brian Solis’ blog, writes that the “About” section of a blog should include tidbits such as employment history as well as disclosures regarding conflicts of interest. By putting it all out there, you avoid the appearance that you’re hiding a dark and twisty secret.
  • Be yourself – Did your employee softball team destroy their cross-office rivals? Does a warehouse associate donate countless hours playing Santa for impoverished kids? These tidbits show that your brand is people-powered, which can go a long way toward dispelling the myth of the mystery-shrouded, soulless corporate entity.
  • Be on top of things – Social media monitoring will help you assess how the message is being perceived. For instance, did customers think the CEO’s apology was a bit of PR B.S.? Monitoring the conversation gives you the actionable intelligence you need to make adjustments.

Creating an authentic presence in social media isn’t hard, but it is important. In fact, it should be a guiding principle throughout your interactions, whether it’s tweeting a colleague or blogging a conference. To find out more about social media strategy and online listening, contact the experienced analysts at Social Strategy1.

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