One of the most toxic social media mistakes a business owner can make is to adopt a “ignore it and hope it goes away” type of attitude.
This head in the sand tactic is employed on many levels. Some business owners want to ignore social media in general – hoping it’s a fad which will quickly fade away. Unfortunately, for some businesses and brands – their first foray into the wild and wonderful world of social media is when they discover a social media shit storm has erupted and their brand is at the epicenter.
It’s important for business owners to recognize that conversations are already happening about your business and your brand. While it’s infinitely easier to ignore these social media rumblings – ignoring these critical conversations and hoping they’ll go away is the worst thing you as a business owner or brand manager can do.
There’s a reason for the saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” Except on the web – ignorance is anything BUT bliss.
If you think social media is magic – think again. Social media is simply people communicating via the web. The web has always been about communication and in the old days, that communication was restricted to those who “spoke” the language. In the earliest days, that language was HTML. The big “fuss” began when people who didn’t speak “HTML” could communicate using the web via blogs and eventually other social media sites such asMySpace.com and Facebook.
This free and easy communication cut two ways for businesses. On the plus side, businesses could easily communicate with not only current customers but prospective customers as well. Since these conversations were happening on the web – they are digital footprints left in cement rather than sand. In some ways, these conversations are better for business – because we as business owners can “eavesdrop” on the conversations going on about our brand.
However, on the flip side – there’s a business axiom that proclaims a happy customer will tell 3 people – an unhappy one will tell 16. This axiom is from the days before social media – and those figures should probably be amplified exponentially to reflect the changes happening thanks to social media. This means, the conversations that are happening about your business or brand online are more than likely going to be negative.
The biggest reason business owners and brand managers seek out a social media consultant is because they’ve recently discovered the negative conversations going on online about their brand.
Their first request – almost without exception – is to ask for the consultant to remove the negative conversations – to erase them from existence. As a result, the first conversation most social media consultants have with new clients is to explain that REMOVING these negative conversations is impossible.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that it is possible to MOVE the negative conversations off the first pages of search and replace those negative conversations with positive ones.
However, remember – people are much more likely to “bitch and moan” than they are to rant and rave about your business. That’s why businesses need to be proactive in encouraging and nurturing positive conversations online – because these positive conversations don’t happen “naturally”.
In a freshly tilled garden, weeds always seem to grow faster and easier than the desired plants. Whether you want your garden to yield beautiful flowers or tasty vegetables and fruit – you can’t simply plant some seeds in freshly tilled soil and hope for the best.
The same is true of social media. If you’re not actively nurturing your social media presence – then chances are the “weeds” are taking over.
Ignorance is anything but bliss when it comes to social media. The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to social media is to ignore it.