Everyone took copious notes while listening to Bonnie Daneker, Founder, Write Along With You and President of NAWBO Atlanta. It all began with our table question about what we look like on social media. We had to respond to questions like” Ever googled yourself? Why not?” “What is the importance of this?” “What do you do if you find untruths or non-flattering material”? It made us all think about whether we were digital turnoffs and whether or not people were seeing us the way we wanted to be seen. Wow! In the age of social media and virtual business models, this is critically important.
Bonnie suggested that we use the ACT strategy as it relates to our digital content.
A – Audit yourself online with regularity. Find out firsthand what is being said about you, your company, and your industry. If you choose, you can pay for a thorough Social Media “Audit” or review, which ranges from simple searches to robust reports. Professional information collection sites such as My Life, Persopo, Peak You are examples. Take an hour or two and go through the last 2-5 years of your activity. You will be glad you did.
If you find something that is easy to change, you can reach out to whoever posted the item and request that they take it down. If you find a larger issue, confront the source and request that it be removed. If you are not receiving the needed cooperation, you can turn to companies like Reputationdefender.com, Netreputation.com, Repwarrior.com, GuaranteedRemovals.com, brandyourself.com, or Blue Scorpion Reputation Management. As you would expect, this can be a time consuming and expensive process so make sure the issue is worth your time and money.
C – Content: Remember, what you put out there is permanent. Don’t believe otherwise! This is what we tell our children all the time and we need to heed our own advice.
Bonnie provided some DO’s and DON’T’s listed below:
- DO think about the intersection between what you want to say and what your audience needs to hear. What types of content can you use to teach/entertain your customers and prospects? Surveys, quizzes, and questions are great ways to interact with people virtually.
- DO post current content that is “new” and “now.” Be an industry insider. Investigate the “expert” you are sharing from, including the writer of a blog or the research behind a survey. Post holidays both serious ones and silly ones.
- DON’T ever publicly shame someone. It never makes you look good.
- DON’T joke on sensitive things like people’s looks, family, heritage, etc. Remember what you learned in kindergarten. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
- DON’T post anything you wouldn’t want in the newspaper or mentioned in front of your grandparents.
- DON’T feel like you must figure out what to say all by yourself. Reach out to other subject matter experts to look over your message. They can be fixed, edited or updated.
T – Target: Where are your customers? Be intentional about what you post and where. Your posts should show your level of knowledge and experience. Let the reader learn about your personality and what is important to you without being preachy. Below are some resources Bonnie shared that can assist with this process:
- Contact Miriam Salpeter with Keppie Consulting for social media expertise
- Use com, ReadUnwritten or Reddit.com to access millennials and the iY generation
- Consider using advisor sites like YELP, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, Google-Business, etc. or upcity.com to evaluate local service businesses and yourself
Not making this an important part of your business strategy can be dangerous and off-putting. You work hard to grow your business and brand. You need to protect them!