by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
I was speaking with my Aunt the other day and mentioned that she was reading a story in a newspaper - I think it may have been The New York Times - about how people exaggerate in their "speech" online. I do it and so do many others. The article gave an example of a young woman on Facebook who used the abbreviation "LOL", even though she wasn't really laughing out loud and the example of adding too many letters to the end of a word - like OKKKKKKKKK!
As well, in my speaking travels (I'm speaking at BlogPaws in Denver next!), I've often heard from women that they don't want to use social media because they don't care to share what they had for lunch and they don't care what other people have had either. And, I can't say that I blame them.
I'm always quick to point out that these are the most inane uses of social media (some of which I do from time to time...I can't *always* be sane, can I?) and we shouldn't use these outside cases of how individuals use social media as the barometer of how businesses and business people should use social media. It's kinda like saying that how your teenager wears their hair is acceptable for an adult business woman who expects to be taken seriously in her work. The two don't jive. Definitely *not* apples to apples.
But, somehow, no matter how many positive media stories there are about how food trucks are using Twitter to bring in big business, the stories that stick in our heads are the ones that showcase the most ridiculous uses of social media.
These stories could, instead of being held up as spectacles to be scoffed about, be leveraged as deep learning examples of how NOT to use social media. What's the saying...a teachable moment?
Instead of saying, "I'll never use social media because I don't want to read about someone's ham sandwich." Say, "I'll never use social media like that for my business because I always want to be relevant, add value and keep the conversation moving."
There, isn't that better?