Treat social media like face-to-face


Updated Aug 20, 2014 9:41AM: The original post and subsequent conversation has been removed from Facebook, but we’ve captured it via screenshots in a public dropbox account here.


This post could also be called “How NOT to do social media.”


Words like “pervasive” and “ubiquitous” are big and sound fancy and smart, but in today’s world, applying those words to “social media” is accurate. It’s everywhere.  I use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn every single day.  I will likely start using Instagram shortly.  To promote a business or a cause, there simply is no better, easier, or more effective and economic solution to getting the word out and communicating with your target audience.


Because social media is so very effective at communicating to your audience, you (both as an individual and as a business owner or employee) really, really need to pay attention to exactly how you use social media tools.  More specifically, if you choose to engage your customers via social media, and you should because your customers are using it, then you must keep the following mantra in mind:

Treat social media like face-to-face conversations.

When Before you engage your prospects or customers on social media, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Would I say these same words if we were in my store (or on the phone or in a customer meeting)?
  2. What would I like to hear if I were the customer and this customer were me?
  3. Who else will read these words?


If you’re comfortable with your answers, then hit the “post”, “tweet”, or “share” button. If not, please reconsider. Why do I bring this up? I’m sure I’m not the first to bring attention to how we all engage on social media, but it was brought to my attention last night – yes, on social media – by my friend Jason Dominy, who posted what I consider a classic #epicfail that occurred on Facebook over the weekend between a friend of his and a local retail business.  Here’s the link to the entire engagement (screenshots on dropbox, since original Facebook conversation deleted).


Read at your own painful peril (or humor), and please, please consider the following statistics about existing customers and dissatisfied customers:

  • For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent
  • 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back
  • A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.
  • Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience.
  • 55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service
  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience


Think before you post. Please.





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