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Muddywall | April 16, 2014

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Smile, you're on social media! -

Smile, you’re on social media!

Being friendly and ‘nice’ on social media is a good way to create conversations and to build up your following. Yes, there are some social profiles, usually satirical, that play on the bad tempered, grumpy or rude approach. Just look at the popularity of the excellent @sh*tmydadsays on Twitter.But if you are a brand or business a ‘nice’ approach should be your preferred option.

With his fearsome reputation and feisty language, you maybe be surprised to discover that Gordon Ramsay is actually a ‘nice’ guy on Twitter. Take a look at one of his tweets, which even includes a Gordon kiss!

 

So how do you be nice like Gordon?

Well I wouldn’t overdo the kissing.

Offering advice, answering questions or helping others with issues relevant to your business is a good start. For example, with Muddywall being a social media business, we are often asked which management tools are best to use. Instead of grumpily replying, “we’re not telling you that, you should use our services”, we offer a couple of recommendations. Takes a couple of minutes to do and helps create dialogue with a social media user who potentially could become a future customer. And remember, as social media is in the public domain, others will see you being helpful- an excellent way to develop a positive brand image. Just for the record, I would recommend Hootsuite as a tool for social media management :)

Social media being in the public domain is something many social media users forget, especially when becoming embroiled in a social discussion with a disgruntled customer. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at some stage in our social media lives- that moment when, for example, an opinionated so-and-so with an over-inflated ego decides to offer their view in the comments section of your latest Facebook post. You’re fuming at their naivety but what do you do. Well, my advice is to bite your lip (not literally), take a deep breath, thank them for their comment and walk away.

Getting lured in a slagging match on social media may make you feel better but looks terrible to all those not involved but who can still can read your comments. Think of social media as a busy street. Have you experienced that moment when two people start having a very public argument? Soon a large space appears around the arguing couple as uncomfortable passers-by tried to avoid the awkward situation. The same can happen to your social media profile as your followers begin to give it a wide berth. And even if you have the satisfaction of winning the argument, the damage you do to you and your brand’s image will prove difficult to recover.

Keep smiling!

Our mantra at Muddywall for building social communities around a brand is that you need to start with creating conversations. A sure-fire way of doing this is by being friendly, helpful and approachable, basically creating a social image that people are willing to engage with. On some not-so-good days you may need to employ your best acting skills, especially when your boss is on your back for not meeting the defined goals or your carefully managed social media profiles are being spammed with comments from people recommending the latest weight loss drug.

“Take a deep breath, keep calm, smile and carry on.”

I’ve heard of people in telesales being told to smile when speaking on the phone. Although they can’t see the other person, the smile comes across in the tone of the telemarketer’s voice.

The same goes for social media. Try smiling when writing your updates. With your friendly and approachable manner, you’ll soon be meeting and beating those social media goals, and be well on the way to building an engaged social media community around your brand.

I'm a social media manager, working with UK SME's to develop and implement strategies that achieve social media success. In 2012 I set up the popular social media blog, Muddywall, for which I am now the editor and active contributor. I am now joined by talented social media professionals who share their ideas, insights, opinions and advice. Please feel free to contact me if you need help with your social media on 07803 559190 or email james@muddywall.com