Why You Need to Be Present and Post Social Media Content Frequently

A common objection to participating in the social media channel is that it’s a time waster or that it’s a fad or that there’s not enough money, blah, blah,blah.

If you’re running a business today, you can’t afford to shift your gaze from this very powerful communication channel. Your audience is participating – maybe not about your particular product or service, but believe me, they are participating. And if you’re NOT participating actively, your company, your brand or YOU will be mentioned, you will miss it and it will be bad for you.

Manage Your Brand by Owning The Google Search for Your Keywords

The best way to do this is to search for your keywords, or brand name or company name on Google and see what comes up. For example, when I first searched for my name in Google, I was listed as number 4 behind some french sexy blow up doll! Now my name is “Ivana Taylor” and that’s rather unusual – so I expected to be on page one — but AFTER a blow up doll — REALLY? ?This was not good PR.

As I started blogging and writing for other publications, this situation changed – and if I search for “Ivana Taylor” now, I basically overwhelm the search and the blow up doll appears as an image on page 1 — and then not again until much later – I gave up after page 4.

I learned this lesson from The Search Guru (Leslie Caruthers) who said that the best way to manage your brand online is to overwhelm the internet with true, value-filled content. This is good advice.

A Real Life Example of Bad Press Handled Beautifully

I found Kel Kelly (@KelKelly) when she responded to one of my Tweets. We had a short little discussion via Twitter about Cleveland and when I went to her blog I saw that the highest commented article was called The Mommy Elephant in the Room. You know I had to read that one.

It turns out that Kel’s article was a response to some “bad press” her team appeared to have received from a mommy blogger. But the way it was handled on her blog is a great example to any business owner of how to handle bad press in an honest and authentic way. This is not easy. But Kel does it well (did you catch that rhyme? – Yeah,. I meant to do that)

Here’s my list of what she did well – I’m not AT ALL a PR expert, this is just my opinion as a reader.

  • The story starts with an update. That shows she’s watching the blog and sees that this story is going to be clicked on LONG after it’s useful life. When you have a post that’s listed as “popular” people will click on it even more. One of my posts on Small Business Trends from two years ago is still popping up and people STILL comment on it. Be sure to re-visit posts and updated them with the latest so that your readers aren’t lost. Remember it’s new to them.
  • She gives a report on “what’s happening”. What’s happening means just that. It does not include any judgement language, it only reports on what happens. “The sun rose in the East.” ?That’s what happened. “It’s a beautiful day” is a judgement statement. Kel gives background without making judgement. This is important for your brand because your reader is already starting from a cynical viewpoint, you need to start neutral first and present what happened so that they can form an opinion.
  • She takes what happened and what everyone made it mean and turns it into anopportunity. This is a step that most everyone skips. We skip this one because we are so completely caught up in emotion, that we forget that we have a role to play and we get to choose how to play it. Kel chose to play this for a bigger benefit. Personally, I like that. It shows that she is a real authentic person. From a business perspective it shows me that she knows her stuff too. I mean she IS in the PR industry. She’d better know how to handle this.
  • She invites comments and they are worth reading. Kel invited people to comment and they did just that, even the blogger that’s the topic of the article commented. This is where the reader gets a full, nuanced story about a real issue and they started processing it. So much so, that that the issue turned away from a rant and toward a solution.

You Can Do This

You don’t have to be a PR professional to effectively manage your brand. You DO need to be active on social media channels so that you’ve established a history of who you are, what you believe, and the way you do business. This way, there is something out there from YOU that proves that the rant about your brand is either warrantless or a one-time incident.

Don’t be afraid to take whatever responsibility is yours in this process. You probably did what you did with the best intentions, it just didn’t land that way for this particular person and it’s important that you acknowledge that.

Keep your authentic voice. This is an important lesson I got out of Kel’s response. If you read he articles and her blogs, then you get a real flavor for her voice. She didn’t suddenly go “corporate” or “legal” in her post. She stayed true to her voice and her personality. This lends credibility to her story. I came into this conversation late (after she removed some links) so I didn’t see the tone of the offending blog post that someone did – but I did see the response from the author. I’m willing to bet that the bloggers comment on Kel’s blog was different than the post.

I’ve often written about why it’s important to blog and to participate in online discussions, and when I ran into this example, I simply had to share it. I hope you learned as much from it as I did.