Social Media Best Practice: Be yourself!

Getting it wrong in social media is more commonplace then you would like to think. Whether it is Ryanair lambasting the blogosphere as “idiots” or advertisers pretending to be people they aren’t.

The fact is online you are dealing with real people, people with an ingrained knowledge of their communities and how they work. So if you pretend to be one of them you will stick out like a sore thumb, worse still you will most likely be routed out and named and shamed!

A couple of years back an ad agency representing Sony was named and shamed for pretending to be “happenin” guys who just wanted a PSP. Ryanair where called out after some investigating traced the messages blog messages back to a Ryanair office prompting the now infamous response.

Maybe it is possible to successfully dupe the crowd and obviously we wouldn’t be able to tell from the outside if anyone had successfully managed to do that. Even if this possible and you can infiltrate a community, is it really the best way to engage? You are much more likely to trip up eventually and the risks if you do could be catastrophic for the brand and campaign you have been building.

All of this can be avoided by going into a community and being honest. More importantly though go through the official channels and give the community something of value. The biggest advantage of being honest is that if it all goes well you will become the point of authority for that community and rather than being one of the crowd users will come to you with their questions and opinions.

So be yourself in Social Media because everyone else is!

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