Being Bruce -: Business Social Media Tip #16 - Don't Trivialize

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Business Social Media Tip #16 - Don't Trivialize

Avoid trivializing your business social media presence by over-adding causes, cute little applications, polls, tests and games. Stick to your business purpose, which is to observe, engage, share, and contribute in a manner that adds to your community, appeals to your target market, and directly or indirectly promotes your business.

Many social media sites, particularly those open to other applications that can run in or parallel to them (which means it's someone else's business product or service) are loaded with polls (Which flower are you?, Who's your favorite super hero?), games (adventure, quasi-reality, team building), and little gifts you didn't know you ever needed (sending "fluff" or "flair" or graphic coins that will never buy a cup of coffee). The preponderance of these applications indicates that many people like them and many companies attempt to make money with them.

Just because trivial applications apparently abound, however, doesn't mean you should use them. Or play along.

It's fine to join causes or become a "fan" of causes, people, businesses, or places that you truly care about and would like to have associated with your business. If you are promiscuous in joining causes, however, you dilute your own value.

Remember, too, that when you join a cause or group or become a fan, that means your social media identity is on someone's list and odds are, just like IRL (in real life) you're likely to get hit with (be solicited by) other causes, groups, or fan bases. If indiscriminate joining suits your business purpose, certainly go for it, but realize it takes you away from a clearly defined market niche.

Social media is a powerful tool to personalize your business presence for the purpose of engaging and attracting your target market. If your business presence on social media appears distracted or absorbed by games and trivial applications, your customers may go elsewhere, attracted by a business that focuses on target market needs and preferences.