Your Social Media = Your Business Social Media

I figured now is as good a time as any to talk about one of the tenets of social media etiquette.  I'm sure there are some specific rules written somewhere, but with most things, there is a common sense approach that needs to be taken into account as well.  

You may recall a comment from a previous post where a business owner was using their personal social media account as a platform to complain about circumstances surrounding their business.  As a business owner, I cannot fathom how this person thought airing their dirty laundry on social media was a good idea - especially when their posts specified that a) their business was failing; and b) that they were blaming the failure on poor physical business placement and lack of community involvement.  

In this day and age of technology, social media is ingrained in just about anything we do.  In many instances, it appears that a wrongdoing on social media holds severe consequences.  I can't begin to tally the number of times I've heard someone missed out on a key job opportunity because the company they were interviewing with did a social media check and found something unkempt in their posts.  The same philosophy holds true for business accounts.  We've all seen the news stories about how an errant tweet from a multinational company resulted in a storm of bad publicity, outrage from the public, and ultimately a public acknowledgment that the offending employee was terminated.  

While the example given generally deals with large companies, it's not just the huge corporations that have to pay attention to their social media.  In circumstances where a small business owner has a personal social media presence that can be easily affiliated with their business, it can have huge repercussions.  At least when a multi-billion-dollar company loses a couple thousand customers it doesn't throw them into a financial tailspin.  Sure, there will be some hurdles to overcome to regain that loss, but it is generally doable.  If a small business loses a couple thousand customers however, it could mean the downfall of the entire company.

Going back to the example identified at the beginning, the particular business owner is known throughout their community as the owner of the business.  Posts from the business social media accounts are shared by the individual's personal social media accounts at the time they are posted.  They are identified on their personal social media page as the owner/operator of the business - with a link to the business social media page.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to determine that this person is the owner/operator of the business that they are complaining about in their posts.  The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you are your business under those circumstances, and that your social media is your business social media.  Because of that key relationship, you might want to think twice about whether or not that Facebook post on your personal page will affect potential customers and affiliates for your business page.    

Missy Sorg