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Cast your social net..Don’t get caught in it.

Be honest with yourself – if you’ve got more than say 50 ‘Facebook Friends’ then you’re not on Facebook for ‘Friendship’.  Not in the traditional sense of the word, anyway.  If you’ve got 1000 or more it’s pretty clear you’re a narcissist…  or…. that you are there to push product  or service, or business.  And – why not?  It’s a perfect place to meet potential customers in a friendly, open and interesting place.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to do considerable damage to your reputation, business or employment prospects and reputation if you’re unaware of the ethos surrounding ‘Online Marketing’.

2000 ‘Facebook Friends’, another 1500 on MySpace, maybe a few hundred on LinkedIn…. that is a pretty big audience.  If you had that many people walking through your store you’d be keen to display your talents in the best possible way.  Remember – just because they’re called ‘Facebook Friends’ doesn’t actually mean that they ARE.  They might be friendly, polite and approachable, even supportive.  But that’s as far as it goes…..  They’re an AUDIENCE, same as in any place of entertainment.  Critical, choosy, and with the same tastes and demands as any gathering in  a pub, theatre or Mall.

Keep that in mind when you think about posting displays of your store, new products or services. How will that audience perceive you, and what you’re doing with that mobile phone video.  Will they see it as a genuine indication of your talents?  Will they be drawn to you as a online neighbour and fulfill the expectations you had when you posted it?

Chances are you didn’t consider the DAMAGE you’ve done to yourself.  Out of your audience of 2000, six clicked ‘Like’, five ‘chat buddies’ commented ‘Great!’ – but none of them ‘Shared’ it.  Generally your ‘audience’ was at best ambivalent, and you certainly hoped for more response that you got from your predictable sources.

Look at what you actually posted.  A shaky video feed,   a soundtrack full of pops hum, machine and wind noise…. You have posted an amateur representation of something you want people to believe you do professionally.  Nobody is going to praise you for providing something that most of  your neigbours think they can do better themselves.

Is a customer or future client going to seize upon that  poorly done demonstration of your talents and besiege you with revenue?  Have you suddenly got a lot more Twitter followers than you expected as a result?  Have you HELPED your reputation as a reputation in any way?

THINK PROFESSIONALLY – and more importantly realize  that Facebook – ANY social network – is a place to do yourself as much harm as good if you make a half-hearted stab at marketing yourself.  Make SURE that what you show is professionally made, makes you look and sound your best and cannot be challenged critically as ‘amateur’.

Your neighbour,

Douglas

 


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