Social Media: Social Media Communication is Just Like Real Life

I’m unsure why when people start social media they forget the social aspect. Often social media is confused as a way to talk about yourself 24/7. This isn’t social media.

Imagine if I walked up to you on the street and just started talking about all the different things I’m doing in my life. Think long and hard about whether you’d try and get away from me or stick around and really truly want to listen to my self-indulgence. The reality is most (not all) will try and get away. Unfortunately this is what most people consider to be their “social media” and it’s not social at all.

When doing your social media you need to behave in a similar fashion to how you would communicate in real life. You can talk about yourself, just mix it up with questions about the other people involved in the conversation – if there is no conversation, create one. Make sure you mix up what you have to say with something that other people in the conversation are interested in to keep the conversation going.

If someone talks to you on social media, talk back. Imagine if you and I were on a stage in front of thousands of people. I came up to you and said “Hey, what is that you have there?” and instead of responding you just stand there, not acknowledging me at all. The audience of thousands is looking up in awe of your lack of response. Believe it or not this is what you are doing when you don’t respond to people that contact you on social media.

In addition to the above point, don’t delete negative comments. The worst thing you can do in a situation where someone is furious enough to let you know they’re upset is ignore them (or walk up to them and try and cover their mouth for those of you that like analogies). Use the opportunity to defuse the situation and show that your team cares about it’s customers. Remember the customer is always right. You’re effectively on a world stage where anyone can see you, so the way you deal with negative situations is crucial.

If in doubt ask yourself, what would I do if this was real life. Once you’ve mastered this you can tailor your message to your audience, just like real life.

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