What you post can have the power to influence. Your actions and interactions can work in favour of your business or work against it. As a Facebook page owner, would you agree that you are responsible for managing your professional reputation wherever you participate?
Take for example France. France has a lot of community minded groups where fellow English speakers congregate. There are a number of professional groups where English speaking businesses congregate to ply their trade and network with others. With groups comes ones thoughts, in the form of opinions and comment. As a business owner be mindful of how you are contributing in non professional groups. It is easy to type from head straight to keyboard with very little thought about content and tone... with posters erring on the side of “I have a right to express my opinion”. Yes you do, you also have a duty of self discipline – to make sure that what you are saying is in the best interests of not just yourself but the person a comment is intended for and others who will see it. Would you just holla out loud in the middle of SuperU under the guise of 2I have a right to freedom of speech2??
Please don't be fooled into thinking that because a group is closed that you can say/play how you like as the likelihood is that the same people are also on many other groups professional or otherwise. People's perception is their reality and when you are playing less than professionally in a commonality group and then hop on over to a professional group – guess what – an opinion of you is formed already. For many of us we are operating in a business to consumer environment and when a business owner with a Facebook page is trying to win over potential customers from this platform – you need to make sure that the perception you are giving off is heading in the right direction. Your professional brand is only as strong as your personal brand. How you conduct yourself online gives a pretty good indication of how you may operate in your business.
Facebook group hints and tips
- Acquaint yourself with the group rules or policies. Most groups offer a welcome. Acknowledge that and get involved as and when you can, respecting the rules of the group and Admins who get involved.
- Watch your words, your tone and your own mood at the time of typing. It is so easy to misconstrue text online. It is difficult to understand how your post will be received – we all interpret things differently, but you can control what you say. Is it balanced, is it open minded, is it kind, is it delivered with meaningful intent for all readers. Or is it giving off a hell bent side of the coin, i.e. Yours and that you really don't care what others think.
- If you are asking a question or posting – please take time to respond and thank those who have contributed to your post. Doesn't have to be individual – a BIG THANK YOU to you all will do.
- Read a post first before responding. You get a notification that something is posted, you immediately head on over and post your thoughts or comments before reading through the comments. It is natural to want to respond while a thought is fresh in your head. Take a moment or two to read the other responses – is what you are saying still valid? Can you add more?
- Don't be the person who only shows up when you want something or to gloat with a link back to your business. Contribute to posts and ask questions yourself.
- Share your experience and knowledge. Participate contribute and provide for others. There's nothing nicer than sharing a positive viewpoint, a few words of encouragement.
- When participating in a number of other groups – be mindful that cross posting is annoying. When you are flying out of the door before 9am and you have cross posted the same post to half a dozen groups that a large % of people are also members of, we see that post half a dozen times. Space those posts out.
- If you are posting in a group that is allowing you to promote your services please add more than just a picture. Share what you are promoting. There is nothing worse than seeing a post that is just a link of your Facebook page or a flyer. Why should others use you?
- Position your rants carefully. On some groups airing and venting is perfectly OK, but the more professional groups could you post your rant differently? Could it be a question on how to deal with something and solicit advice or opinion from others. What you can get away with on other groups may not always be the case on others.