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I opened up my newsfeed and quickly spotted an interesting pattern: people are airing out their grievances openly on social media and leaving it to the court of public opinion to decide the outcome.
Check out this short sampling of stories that are trending today:
In this article, a photographer complains about a big, established brand swiping and using his photos from an event in their promotions. He writes a blog post on petapixel.com that gets more than 130,000 shares and calls out skatehousemedia.com on what he considers their theft of his work.
Joel Embiid on saying "Fuck LaVar Ball" on Instagram: "I think most people have been wanting to say that … I'm glad I said it." pic.twitter.com/szJgV8fa6P
— avery yang (@avery_yang) July 13, 2017
Then there’s this: Joel Embiid Says He’s Glad He Went After LaVar Ball in Instagram While I’m not a sports fan and have no idea what this feud is all about, it’s clear that people across all levels of the communication spectrum are feeling safe, emboldened and justified in solving their problems on social media.
If you’re a marketer inside a larger organization or a small business owner, you had BETTER GET READY because the social media shaming trend is here and you’re probably not ready to deal with it.
Top-Down Control of Your Marketing Message is SO 2008!
Maybe you’re already numb to the insane stuff you see on social media. Don’t be. If you see these examples and you think that social media doesn’t really apply to your business because your customers aren’t serious about social media you are exactly the person that needs to pay attention.
In 2008 I played a fun game with my friend and small business expert and author John Mariotti where he and I did a point-counterpoint about social media. I was all FOR embracing social media
Develop a social media strategy YESTERDAY. Deciding to put together a social media strategy is like deciding to have the sex talk with your kids. Either YOU can be the one to explain, or you can leave it to TV, their friends – or the internet. It’s insane to ignore the movement to this kind of communication. But it’s wise to learn and make decisions about how to use it so it doesn’t use you.
and Mariotti was on the side of prudently participating or waiting until the media evolved.
When I want to expand my network, I want to choose who will be involved and know that their involvement is willing and enthusiastic — not the result of an email and a few clicks of the mouse.
I am simply too busy to meddle with something that is at least largely populated with people who have nothing better to do with their time, or others who think is it somehow an easy way to really be connected to a lot of people.
Remember this is practically the “dark ages” in computer time – but his points are important to note because you might be thinking that the world is STILL this way — and it’s not. The social media space has evolved to such a point that you simply cannot assume that you can control the message if one of your customers or employees decides to let loose on social.
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Ivana Taylor”]If you want your content to go viral – just do something you’d never want anyone to see.[/pullquote]
Get or Update Your Social Media Strategy
If your social media strategy is something like — be on Facebook or LinkedIn and post stuff from your blog or random shares — this is not really a strategy. It is a strategy, but it won’t get you the results you’re after.
The first step in any strategy is setting some great goals. In this article Social Media Strategy in 2017: How to Create an Extraordinary Strategy, the folks at Buffer do an outstanding job in specifying the kinds of goals you can set for your social media strategy and how to achieve them. Take a look at this image — see the “How social media can help” section — that’s exactly what you need. Then break these out into specific tasks that you or your team will do to make that happen.
By simply taking the time to ONLY do this simple step, you will have saved yourself hundreds of wasted hours on social media AND, you will be prepared to handle or avert any crisis that comes up with your audience.
Another resource I always use is CoSchedule. This is an amazing tool that helps you manage your content calendar and social media strategy all in one place. Aside from the tool, their blog is loaded with all kinds of helpful content and free downloads. For example, in How To Develop A Winning Social Media Content Strategy, you’ll get a detailed how-to article on setting up a social media strategy as well as a free download that you can implement with your team.
Don’t Let This Happen to YOU
It’s naive to think that any business, company or person will live through the age of social media unscathed in some way.
[thrive_testimonial name=”Kosh” company=”Babylon 5″ image=”http://diymarketers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/k.jpg”]The avalanche has already started. It’s too late for the Pebbles to Vote[/thrive_testimonial]
The time to get your thoughts around how you will use social media and how you will respond to public mentions on social media is BEFORE it happens. Look, you’re GOING to get a bad review, someone or a competitor will put your business up as a scam site. Anything can happen and if you don’t have something in place to combat it, your business will be at the whim of whatever people find online.
The best strategy is to be active, to collect testimonials, to engage honestly and openly to social so that when someone tries to take your reputation down online, it will be overwhelmed and your stellar reputation will shine through.