Pre-Carnival drama brought us the much-talked-about exchange between Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin on Instagram.
If you were hiding under a rock, the short story is that Machel and Bunji performed together, at Sunset Festival (December 2014). Soon after, Machel took to Instagram to ask Bunji to collaborate, telling him that “the people have spoken”.
The exchange didn’t go well. And a back and forth between Machel, Bunji, and fans ensued.
Based on this, the Trinidad Guardian wrote a piece about the do’s and don’ts of conducting business on social media, and asked me for my opinion.
Here’s an excerpt:
“…What matters is the context of your communication…
“Machel, like the rest of us, knows Bunji’s communication style. He knows that Bunji is straightforward, and can be blunt. Bunji may also still be apprehensive about working with him…
“If your gut tells you the person may not feel comfortable, use traditional channels, like the phone. Do it privately. If the person isn’t interested at that point, sometimes you have to be patient, or let it go.”
I also indicated that how you say things matter, adding: “Similarly, Bunji could have phrased his response differently.”
If you’re using social media to promote your business, here are the do’s and don’ts I shared. They’ll help you to gain more credibility and business online:
1.Don’t make it about you.
It’s about your audience. Put people at the centre of your social media strategy. Imagine who your audience is. What do they like? What do they care about? This will help you to connect with them.
2. Remember what you want people to feel, when they interact with you.
3. Know why you’re using social media.
Don’t just use it because everyone else is. Have specific and measurable goals.
4. Add value. Be helpful.
Don’t just promote your brand. Social media isn’t sales media. People don’t like it when you only promote your products. If you add value, you have their permission to market your stuff when you really need to, and they’ll be more receptive.
5. Build relationships. Don’t use people.
6. Don’t be boring.
And don’t hire a boring social media administrator.
7. Listen, so you can have richer and more relevant discussions with people.
8. Stand out.
So many local brands use the same corporate voice. Say things differently to how everyone else is saying it. Don’t imitate other brands. Don’t be afraid to stand out. That’s one of the ways to make your brand come alive, and to help people notice you.
9. Remember that you’re communicating with human beings.
Be natural and relatable. Show some personality. People connect with you when you’re personable. Craft a personable voice. Look at how you say things.
10. Be social. Don’t be antisocial.
Engage your audience. Start conversations with them.
11. Give great customer service.
12. Respond to people in a timely manner.
13. Share interesting content.
Mix it up. It doesn’t have to be all business. Balance human interest/light content with serious content.
14. Be consistent with your brand.
Have a consistent voice, but change your tone, depending on who you’re interacting with.
15. Be genuine and transparent.
Respect your audience, and their intelligence. They can read between the lines.