You want to be yourself online when representing your business, but you’re afraid “yourself” is not professional enough. You find that when you talk like a normal human people respond better, but you still want to maintain a level of courtesy so you rarely speak your mind.
Does this sound like your situation? It’s the same conundrum every business owner faces in this day and age. With so much constant exposure to the public, it’s tough to let loose sometimes and talk to customers as a person instead of an “entity.” But if you’re censoring yourself because you’re afraid of driving people away you may be doing it anyway.
Maintaining a Level
Naturally you want to maintain a level of consistency with your company’s branding and message. You don’t want customers to see three days worth of business-talk tweets and then suddenly see you talking about going to the club that night.
But relaxing from time to time can do wonders for a company. Users are more tech-savvy and aware than ever before and they realize that behind every “company” online is just a person typing on a keyboard. So if the business “breaks character” on Facebook and asks about a recent baseball game it won’t blow their minds that Bobby Joe’s Staples & Bait is talking about sports. They get it.
Furthermore, people want to know a real person is behind a company’s daily postings. Faceless corporations don’t inspire followers and fans – real people do. Take a look at someone like John Lawson (i.e. ColderICE), who is known world-wide for his talks on social media and business culture. Does he seem like someone who is concerned with censorship? He says what he wants, and it’s become part of his brand.
Of course, you must take your business and industry into consideration. Not every company is going to have the luxury of speaking off the cuff. If you do, it may be seen as inappropriate by your user base.
This is usually reserved for companies that have to maintain an air of trust and dependability. Their customers don’t want, for example, a bank to be their best friend at the bar; they want someone who will look after their money with no problems.
So one of the most important things you can do is to listen to your customers. You can always try to talk more openly and see how it goes. If your fans and customers complain, you should back off and stick to being more professional. However, you may discover you’ve been censoring yourself needlessly for quite some time now.
Are you fairly open and personal with your company’s communication online? Or do you keep it strictly professional?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html