Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Businesses & Facebook Professionalism

This is your public image
I have noticed a growing trend in my Facebook newsfeed. The statuses from business pages are increasingly irrelevant to the product or business and even worse, they're ranting and angry. I promptly "unlike" these pages if it's a trend, but I find myself wanting to point out their unprofessional faux pas just on the off chance that they really are unaware of how they're coming off to potential customers. Then, I started to wonder why this is such a widespread issue?

When I 'like" a business Facebook page, I'm "liking" it to read about your products or services, about your business and if it's a boutique business, I definitely want to hear some about you as the person behind the business. I want to feel like I "know" you so I feel like I"m shopping in my neighborhood boutique when I browse your wares online. I don't, however, want to know about what your daughter ate for breakfast, who ticked you off this week or how the product you just bought from Wal-mart failed you again and if you have to return it one more time, you"ll _______.. If you wouldn't tell me this upon first seeing me in your boutique as a customer, don't post it on Facebook - or do, but on your personal page. By using your Facebook business page as your sounding board or your coffee circle, you're alienating your potential customers and detracting from your business.

If you're a small town organization, I want to "know" the people behind the organization, I want to feel like you're part of my community, I want to care about your organization's purpose. Posting angry rant after angry rant over the very people you're there to serve or benefit will only alienate your entire market and tarnish your brand and purpose. You could lose important community partnerships, potential customers or vendors and lose your reputation in your field. Please take a good look at your timeline and ask yourself "Is this my brand and purpose? Is this how I would describe my organization to someone new?"

This is your business
For my boutique page, I want my audience to know that I"m a real person, with a real passion, with a real family. I handcraft my items and they are a reflection of my styles and skills. I name my items after the customers and friends who inspire them and I love that level of relationship with my customers. I am my boutique, but I am still a professional and I operate just the same way I would in a brick and mortar neighborhood boutique.

So, please, absolutely gear your posts toward personalization for your customers, get to know your customers, get to know what we care about, but imagine your audience of one standing right in front of you in your store or office and ask yourself "Would I say this to a first time customer or someone I just met?" If the answer is "no" or "maybe not," then rethink your words before clicking "post." Your audience will thank you for it and you and your business will prosper for it.

© 2013 Little Bean. All rights reserved.