Does Who You Are on Social Media Affect Your Business? YOU BETCHA!
Your Social Media profile represents who you are as an individual and as a business. From personal profile pics to business cover photos, people will get a sense of who you or your business is - the good, the bad, or as some may see it, the ugly.
In the news recently, people who have been “outed” for their personal opinions on social media have not only lost business; they’ve been fired, blacklisted and virally social shamed.
In school, we instruct our students to be careful of what they post online because colleges and employers are looking at it. We already know employers look at your profiles, but, what if you own your own business? Are we taking our own advice on how we present ourselves?
What if you are a LOCAL BUSINESS? How does who you are online affect your local business? As a smaller business, you need to follow the same rules as larger corporations because it’s just as easy to find you online, and similarly to large corporations, CUSTOMERS and potential business partnerships are watching too. How would your profile or business page effect their buying decisions and future business?
It should go without saying that controversial subjects should NOT be on your business page. Your life and your business are separate in social media, and should stay that way. Spend the time on your business page focusing on the benefits of your business to your current and potential clients – the business page is to highlight your business!
But, what if you own a local business and you work and live in the same area? How does posting your personal opinion to local community groups affect the perception of you and your business?
Local groups can be a great way to market your local business. They’re also an excellent example of the relationship between how you portray yourself online and how it may affect your business. In Facebook groups, technically, you HAVE TO share/post as yourself, not as your business. There you are for all to see. When you post/comment on group posts, we see it as you. It’s simply a click away to your profile to see who you are, whether we are friends or not, and to find out if we like what we see and how you are interacting. Depending on your privacy settings, we can see just some or all of your glory.
Guess what! If you participate actively in local groups, chances are we have already checked you out. Most business owners have the misconception your business is not connected to you. Are they separate? No. You are the face of your business. There is no disconnect.
So what does your personal profile publishing on a local group do? What if the audience doesn’t like your opinions? How does that affect your business? Consider what your profile looks like. Do you have pictures/shares of your political leanings or endorsing a controversial figure? Are you wearing a pink hat or holding up a sign? Is it a just a weird/strange picture? WE SEE YOU! We actually see YOU.
An example is a local business whose product I may have considered using for my own business at Local Social Media. However, because we share as ourselves on town community group pages, this person’s opinions are as a person, not a business. What if my perception of this person/business – NOW THEY BLEND TOGETHER - does not fit “my” perception of a person I would like to work with or recommend? They may be very good at what they do, but I don’t like “who they are.” Will I use them for business? Probably not. There are others that offer this service; I would go there – or to someone I LIKE BETTER.
My advice for those with opinions, and you are certainly within your rights to have them, is to watch your profile pictures as this is the first thing we see. When sharing, change your privacy settings to “only friends” to ensure your personal opinions are for just them, and consider what you are posting before you share or comment in groups. We are watching and biased by our own opinions, making purchasing decisions based on who you are and how you present yourself and your business.
Local Social Media, is an online digital content and marketing company designed to create consistent local branding for clients. Established in 2011, it was one of the first to use the influence of social media to give clients the edge over their competition.