Have you heard of The Four Agreements?
Written by Don Miguel Ruiz, they can be applied to all aspects of life including how you approach social media both personally and from a business perspective.
Words are powerful. The words that you choose have the power to inspire, crush, undermine or uplift. Social media can amplify whatever you put out there. Do you want to add to the negativity that already exists or be a champion of positive information that can help others?
Being impeccable with your word refers to being truthful, and that means checking the validity of information before sharing it.
From a business perspective, being truthful also involves being transparent with your customers and keeping your word.
The First Agreement asks for your words to be considered, truthful and kind.
Haters gonna hate. The trick to dealing with trolls on social media (or anyone else being particularly unkind) is not to take their negativity on board. Their online behaviour is a reflection of them, not of you. As mentioned in The First Agreement, words are powerful and they can hurt if you let them. Remember, hurt people hurt people, so protect yourself, and block where necessary.
The Second Agreement asks you to take a rubber/glue approach to social media: I’m rubber you’re glue, your words bounce off me and stick to you.
The number one rule in communication is to know your audience. Never assume that you know everything about the group of people you are trying to target and that they will understand your message.
Research your target audience. Find out the characteristics of your customers and who you would like your customers to be. Craft social media content around your findings, and test it. Social media analytics can show you quite clearly who is responding to your content and when. Trying to communicate with your customers on social media without really understanding them is like trying to shoot an arrow in the dark. It’s hardly strategic, and could actually end in injury (most likely to your business).
The Third Agreement asks you to do your homework. You’ll either learn something new or find further evidence to support what you already know. It’s a win win.
You get out what you put in. Social media cannot be blamed as ineffective if it isn’t being used to engage in discussions with followers, and/or current and prospective customers.
If social media content is being posted sporadically without any thought of how it can help, entertain and/or inform users, then lacklustre results should not be a surprise. Social media users can spot when a business is just going through the motions rather can putting their customers first.
Social media is a long term relationship management strategy, which means that a business needs to be in it for the long haul. A social media presence is an extension (and a reflection) of a business and it’s important to make sure that the same level of effort and attention is devoted to its online presence as it is offline.
The Fourth Agreement asks you to give your best to your business’ social media followers in terms of content and attention, and in time they will reciprocate with their support and their custom.
Are there any other agreements that you make when approaching social media personally or for your business?