Thursday, 15 January 2015

The delight of social media is its power to project messages without the formality of a website statement or a news story.

But while the possibilities are great, there are pitfalls which can put off those who would like to be more social. Here’s some troubleshooting advice to help get you chatting more happily:

  • The fear of getting it wrong: even the best-intended messages can be misinterpreted at times and in a social media situation – where recalling a blunder becomes so much more difficult – the threat of this happening can have a stifling effect.

Tip: If you don’t have a social media expert to help you with this, why not call on colleagues or friends to give you some feedback before posting? A fresh pair of eyes is always helpful and you may find yourself repaying the favour another time!

  • The difficulty of getting it right: forced jollity or repetitive messaging loses clout on social media, so how to couch a conversational quip?

Tip: Is there something everyone in your office is talking about? Or a story lighting up your news feed? If there is, perhaps you can find a way of making it relevant. It’s worth keeping an eye on the news and social media for inspiration. Don’t panic, you don’t need to send out this kind of message every day – a saturation of similar comments reduces impact.

  • Does it send out the wrong message? Those who have long-projected a formal profile sometimes fear the balance will tip too far the other way when getting chatty online.

Tip: If you want to send out light messages then no problem, but you can temper the balance by ensuring you continue to send out the more formal projection as well.

If in doubt why not create a list similar to those seen on Buzzfeed? By getting colleagues involved in listing what quirks define the business or vocation, you’ll raise a few smiles in the office and the finished product could work on social media as well.