The Four Agreements of SOCIAL MEDIA
You're probably familiar with the bestselling book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It was published in 1997, sold about 10 million copies, remained on the New York Times Bestselling list for almost a decade, and this continues to be a relevant hit.
Think about it: everything in life is based on agreements we make -- agreements with ourselves, with other people, with your higher power, or with life itself.
The author states the Four Agreements as:
Be Impeccable with Your Word.
Don't Take Anything Personally.
Don't Make Assumptions.
Always Do Your Best.
I'd highly recommend his book, so I'll let Don's wisdom stand alone (as it should) and offer my "piggyback" take on his four agreements pertaining to social media. As someone who works on social posts, promotions and connections for a living, it's a little refresher for all of us. I hope you enjoy.
1. Be Impeccable with Your Word.
"When you don't keep your word, you lose credibility.” – Robin Sharma
For businesses with a social media presence, keeping your word has never been more important. This is because everyone can see how you interact (or don't) with your customers as well as your willingness to provide them with actual customer service.
Most businesses put out a message of valuing their customers...social media is a chance to prove you mean it, so if you don't have time to follow through on handling your customers questions/concerns or keeping them up to date on your business, make sure you have someone to do it and you'll build loyalty and grow sales.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally
“What other people think of you is none of your business.” ~ various sources
Your customers, like everyone, can have a bad day and that can cause a difficult interaction with someone whose mood is...shall we say, less than pleasant?
Be sure to always put your best foot forward, do what you can to address their issue (you might need to handle it offline), and above all, remember that "it's not about you".
You might also have to deal with the occasional "troll". The best way to deal with them is to ignore them. Sure, you’ll be tempted to tell them to stick it, but since these types thrive on anger and emotionally charged responses, you don’t need to take the bait. Don’t engage... let them move along, as trolls will often do. If they don't, "delete" and "block" are your best weapons.
3. Don't Make Assumptions.
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.” ~ Isaac Asimov
Even though someone follows your business on social media, they may not know certain crucial things about your business. Every so often, post some introductions of your staff (introductions are always nice and they add a personal connection), post your business hours, share a fun or informative fact about you or your business and let people know the things you value, whether it's your support of a local food pantry, a non-profit or the middle school team your business sponsors. Connections grow when people know and share your interests and values.
You can also do some research and use social media analytics to learn more about your tribe, what their interests are and what type of content grabs their attention.
4. Always Do Your Best
“Today is all you have. Don't worry about tomorrow. Just do the best you can right now. One day, one moment at a time.” ~ Akiroq Brost
Follow up with those who take time to like your posts, make a comment, and/or share your content. I always say, social media should be SOCIAL, so be sure to respond and engage with the folks who leave a word, ask a question or leave a comment on your pages and profiles.
Inform your audience. Take them behind the scenes if you can. Show them something new, educational, useful, or just plain old fun. Not every post has to entertain for entertainment’s sake, but sprinkle in the humor when you can. (such posts often get the best results, too.). 😊
Think of your social media as a kind of friendship. As your customers get a chance to learn about you and what's important to you, you'll likewise learn some things about them. Move beyond just posting sales and product notifications; build a connection that, like a friendship, will last and make you stand out from other businesses. It will also keep your business growing.