Maybe you think that photo of you and the grinning kids at the beach shows your "fun side." Maybe you think a sardonic smile and half-wink makes you look sophisticated.
On or off-line, people trust, follow, and share the wisdom and content of those they feel have greater authority than themselves. As children we accepted the authority of our parents, babysitters, teachers, the police, and clergy. When we matured, we also honored the orders of our boss, attorney, or doctor.
It used to be that reputations were ruined by pencil scrawls on public bathroom walls, or derogatory notes passed in class. A single word or phrase could destroy your life – but that is ancient history, right? Not so.
Every post on your websites, blogs, or social networking sites impacts your personal and business life.
Now, I am a writer by trade, so maybe I’m hypersensitive. But from my perspective, messages containing spelling or uncommon usage errors cause me to question whether the author pays attention to quality in other aspects of their business — particularly when I see similar errors across multiple messages.
There's an entire generation - the Millennials - who are finishing their education and becoming adult consumers, right?
And how do you think they are engaging with the world? You can be quite sure they're not flipping through catalogs or walking the streets seeking a new place to hang out.
They're on the internet, searching for what they want from the comfort of their apartment - searching before buying, and looking for deals.
When Online Buzz Becomes Illegal
August 2012 saw a national data broker under investigation for endorsement allegations by the FTC. Turns out management instructed employees to write glowing comments on the company’s services. The comments were “edited” by management then posted on social media sites using account names provided by the company.
Or at least they do it for a while.
Then the blogger runs out of topics, moves to a new job, or just gets bored with the whole thing. The blog fades into obscurity, and the business owner figures all the other social media “stuff” will take up the slack.
For many businesses, social media is just a black hole, a virtual money pit, unless there is a strategy behind it that drives web traffic and lead generation.
It's a money pit because every hour you invest in it is money out the window unless you are seeing an equal, or larger, return than the cost.
Before you say, "But social media is free! It doesn't cost me anything!" consider this: Let's pretend you spend 2 hours on social networking sites over the course of the average day, and that your bill rate is $50/hour. You are losing $100 per day by not producing client work. In 2 work weeks you've spent 20 hours and $1,000 has gone out the window.