Have you ever looked closely at how you come across on social media?
YOU. Not your business but you as an individual?
In this day and age of re-tweets, re-blogs, shares, re-shares and hashtags, you can see something that catches your eye and pass it on in a click of a button. It takes no time at all and very little thought.
That’s why quotes, feel good stories or videos and inaccurate info warnings spread so quickly on the social web. It requires little thought and no time. A quick, “Oh that looks good” and CLICK – you share it on again.
Brands and marketers love this lack of thought. The mindless sharing expands their reach and builds their social currency.
It’s no bad thing. It’s the start of awareness leading on to information, conversation, affiliation and identity with a brand.
The founding seed.
Some seeds will land on barren ground. Some will take a while to germinate. Others will sprout up and flourish.
Every single one you share REFLECTS on YOU.
It doesn’t matter if the original share came from a friend or acquaintance. By re-sharing a branded message you are showing your affiliation with the brand, business or organisation.
Facebook, Friends and Fanatics
This post is a change to what I was originally going to blog today. In line with the Article Writing Challenge (it’s Monday Review Day) I had a quick review lined up.
Then I saw yet again, a friend and budding business woman share an image that had a nice feel good message on the surface. Until you looked at the image source.
If you’re in the UK, you’ve probably seen this image and others similar doing the rounds.
I am not going to name the far right wing bullies and numb-skulls because I refuse to be identified with them or their ilk.
They’re having nothing from me.
Not a mention, citation and definitely not a link.
When I downloaded the image it had 1,982,735 likes and 96,217 shares. It’s gone a bit viral…
Why wouldn’t it?
Many people were cheering on the Veteran Bernard Jordan who couldn’t get on an organised D-Day trip, so took himself anyway – without telling anyone where he was going. He was found safe and well on a ferry.
You’ll notice the image itself isn’t branded. They’re not totally daft. Brand it and it likely wouldn’t get the reach – they’re still a minority, if a growing one.
Here’s the BUT
When you share on Facebook, it links back to the original poster – whether that’s a page or a profile. When you click on the image, the origin and comments are displayed on the right side.
In this case, it was the page of a far right political party.
Earlier in the week, my Mum (my MUM!) shared an image of a starving dog with a “share if you agree he should go to prison” message sent out by yet another far right wing bunch of narrow minded pillocks. To add insult to injury, there was a link back to their donations page. Fortunately, the link 404’d. It has since been edited to a link to join their Party.
The image had NOTHING to do with their political ideology. I couldn’t resist a bit of a rant about imported Royalty.
Like the D-Day Vet above, it’s simply a way of spreading their reach on Facebook. Give people what they want to see and they are likely to share without thinking because they agree with the sentiment of the image.
What’s This Got To Do With You?
We do business with people we know, like and trust. You’ve heard the line many, many times. We also get to know and like people who are LIKE US. We gravitate towards people who share our interests, ideals, beliefs.
When times are tough, more extreme political parties tend to rise. During the recent local and EU elections, the UK was no different to other EU countries with far right parties popping up all over. People who I thought I knew shared some of the more extreme propaganda.
Needless to say, this far right ideology doesn’t remotely align with mine. It’s something I feel very strongly about and affects all areas of my life. My feelings are very much a core part of me.
I unfriended, unfollowed, uncircled…
- I won’t be doing business with them
- I won’t be passing on referrals
- I won’t be sharing their content
You AND your business are judged by what you share on your personal profiles. Not just by me.
The same goes for the “unthinking” sharing.
The top message may be well meaning, feel good or motivational. If the origin does not align with your personal and business values then don’t share it – it causes more damage than good.
Perception is Truth
Your personal social profiles are not your own. Every update, share and re-share sends a message about you. What you say (or don’t say), what you share, who you respond to and how you conduct yourself on your personal profiles directly impacts the impression people get of your business.
Pam Moore called it social and digital body language. Just like in the offline world, body language attracts or repels people.
Make no mistake, before people do business with you they will be looking you up online.
What message are you giving?
How many people are you repelling due to lazy sharing and giving out the wrong message?You Are What You Share (Or How Your Personal Status Updates Directly Impact Business) by Jan Kearney