Are You a Social Media Snob? How Style Impacts Marketing Outcomes
Time for a pop quiz! What’s your social media style? It’s an important question because your personal style can help – or hurt – client communication. Today we are going to talk about one of those taboo topics most social media consulting agencies attempt to avoid…style. Unfortunately, many small business owners have a distinctive personal style that doesn’t always translate into the best online persona but with a bit of professional tweaking, it’s possible to transform a liability into pure profit. Think of it this way, top rated business professionals often hire experts to help with everything from speech patterns to style/fashion guides. The same applies to your online public persona but the first step is to understand where you fall in the default stage.
Social Media Snob: The social media snob understand the importance of the medium and “gets it” but they refuse to socialize with anyone other than other highly visible network connections. Their “friends” are all movers and shakers. What could possibly be wrong with this? Make no mistake about it – social media snobbery is suicide for small business owners! It’s the equivalent of attending only a few exclusive dinner parties with the exact same people over and over and over again. No fresh faces, no new and exciting opinions. No dissent. Social networks work because of the distant networking possibilities – not the common ones. Small world theory found the most distance connections were usually the most useful over the long term. Avoid the temptation toward exclusivity and instead, opt to connect with unusual options when possible.
Social Media Socialite: Like their real-life counterparts, social media socialites want to be friends with everyone. They are the life of the party and wouldn’t think of missing out on any major event. In essence, the socialite is the opposite of the snob; rather than remaining exclusive, the socialite is an open invitation to everyone. Unfortunately, the same superficial aspect that makes them popular also makes the socialite less than impressive when it comes to real business referrals. They lack discrimination. They like everyone. Everyone likes them but nobody puts weight into their opinion because it’s all a numbers game. Without a few dislikes, the impact of the socialite is limited. As a business owner, be cautious when making referrals. Limit it to those that provide real value. This doesn’t mean you must limit connections, but avoid trying to be all things to all people. Instead, concentrate on providing real value.
Social Media Superstar: The social media superstar has a groupie-like following among extremely loyal fans. Whether you have a nation-wide reputation or have just earned a reputation as a big fish in a small town, the Superstar enjoy a degree of fame other entrepreneurs envy. But be cautious! There is a downside. Like all superstars, everything you say and do can easily be taken out of context or worse, used in a way that you may not personally approve of. Reputation management is vital to maintaining the proper image.
Social Media Savant: You’re Sexy and You Know It! Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch but the social media savant is techno savvy to the extreme. In fact, they are so cutting edge that their reputation…and social contacts…border on that ill-define area where some people think you are cool and others seem to have no idea what you are doing. Early adopters appreciate your insight once they catch up but in the interim, you run the risk of being seriously misunderstood. What’s worse, buying into every new idea eventually leads to a few dead-ends. Be prepared to suffer the consequences of being first…and the rewards.
Social Media Social Worker: If social media marketing seems like one big appeal crisis after the next, something is wrong with the message. While a good debate is a legitimate way to encourage interaction, everything has a limit. The same applies for charity events, fund-raising and even general discussions. There is nothing wrong with trying to make the world a better place or keeping the peace when disagreements arise; just keep it in perspective. There is a fine line between informing, educating and offering suggestions and providing online advice. One will land you in trouble while the other will build business.
Social Media Scientist: Data mining actually excites you and analytics actually keep you up at night. It’s okay to admit it! Social media consulting firms really enjoy people that appreciate our keen insight and analytical minds but let’s face it…not everyone feels the same especially about data. If you are a social media scientist type, there is a strong possibility that you might lean a tad toward the analytical side when communicating. In general, you probably have a tendency to inform rather than engage. Remember, interaction increases the overall appeal and enhances diversity. Embrace your emotional side to encourage interaction among all types of visitors.
Social Media Sentimentalist: If the scientific type tends to inform, the social media sentimentalist tends to be a bit overly emotional. Sharing personal philosophies, cute stories and even meaningful events is great…in its proper place. Remember, some people may hold conflicting views on even the most seemingly obvious idea. Others may just find a heightened emotional expression uncomfortable. Still others simply want to get down to the basics of business in the shortest time possible. Whatever the reason, finding a balance between sentiment and socialization is essential to creating a strong community focused on outcome.