As is so often the case, there are no absolutes when it comes to engaging with people as it pertains to your business. It seems, after all, that in that area it is and always will be a double-edged sword that could significantly help you succeed but within it also has the seeds of damaging, if not destroying altogether, your best laid plans and intentions. Like the familiar saying “Buyer Beware” from your perspective as a business owner your perspective needs to be “Seller Beware.”
And what is this “sword” that I am referring to? None other than social media, and how you can best use it yet understand its cautionary side. It is probably safe to assume that your business is, and if not should be, utilizing social media in your efforts to extend and better your marketing efforts and increase and enhance your success. But always remember where innovation lies danger lurks.
It is odd that as “easy” as we all have perhaps found social media to be from a user standpoint, isn’t it strange that there are so many “experts” out there required to consult and assist you with it, if not personally but certainly, and importantly, with and for your business? Why is that? Well, it is because it is harder to obtain the desired results with it, which is the goal, but also because it is complicated. There is much more to it than surface appearance. What it also indicates is the fact that intuitive common sense understanding of it, and the consequences of its use, can be more serious than you realize.
The “find and capture” mentality and momentum that is behind and supports social media in general and your use of it in particular in the pursuit of creating greater awareness of your business and the reach to more people than ever before lurks with danger. It is easy to lionize social media because, well, everyone is using it, right? But just like going into the jungle, and in this case it IS a jungle called the market, there are always predators. And so, it is not so much an adjusted perspective of social media itself, but rather the exposure that social media so easily provides you that could, if you are not careful, put you in harms way with who is out there. More specifically, the harm that some out there can inflict on you and your business.
In examining your motive and intents regarding using the power of social media for your business, understand that there are those out there who are capable of turning your honorable efforts into dishonorable conditions for you and your business to have to deal with. And since you cannot entirely control that, needless to say nothing short of thick skin on your part will need to be part of your armor. Used properly, there is no question that social media can initiate discovering, and developing, those who desire to begin an intimate relationship with you and your business. So far so good.
This consequence though is itself a reflection of doing more than just putting something out there like so many do, which in many ways is nothing more than an impotent exercise if you are truly attempting to make a real connection. What it correctly reflects is that you are better using social media to establish a conversation, and in doing so contains two fundamental elements of doing so. First, it means you are asking questions in one form or another, either entirely or at the end of some other item presented. Second, in doing so, it means you are going to get responses, which means now there is a further element of how far to go in the back-and-forth.
And this is where the predators lurk and risks exposing the very real vulnerabilities of where what seems so good and helpful can damage or kill all of your best efforts and intentions. And what is this vulnerability? It is that the more followers you have, and the more intensified your comments become, the closer you are to danger because you are one published comment and/or opinion away from potential negative consequences that has ensnared you in a trap. As they say, don’t talk about sharing your views on politics and religion, and whatever else can sidetrack all of your meaningful conversations all meant to attract, not destroy, more customers and greater success. Seller beware!
About Mike Muhney