As illustrated via tales from my life.
Assume that people are saying nice things about you, so don’t get involved
When I was in high school, the “droop” look came into fashion amongst the males. In case you don’t recall various fashion trends from the mid-90s, the “droop” (which can still be seen today) is what you call the look where the guy is wearing his pants down at about mid-tush level. Now, being a person of small stature, I was often at a good height to, unfortunately, closely examine this fashion trend. One day, I was waiting for my hot pocket in the lunch line, minding my own business, just looking straight ahead. All of a sudden, the guy who was in front of me looked behind him, looked at me, kind of smiled as if to say, “I know that my tush looks fantastic right now,” and then he turned around to face forward again. Factually, I was not starting at his butt, at least not in an admiring kind of way, but that fellow would never know. He didn’t pursue the conversation.
Similar misunderstandings can occur if you don’t get involved in Social Media. You can assume that people are saying nice things about you when in fact they might not be saying anything about you at all. Is that a risk you can take?
Overvalue what you do
As my brother was scouring yard sales, getting ready to move into his first apartment, he and my mom came upon a shocking sight. Many, many years ago, our agency had given out coffee cups as one of our client appreciation gifts. Lo and behold, right there on the table, was one of those cups, on sale for 25 cents! We couldn’t figure out who the family was that was having the sale – they certainly had not been our clients. That made it worse. The original recipient had cast our poor cup off and now it was being given away, practically.
In Social Media, you can think that everything you are doing is the most amazing super duper thing ever, but if your audience doesn’t dig it, it will be cast aside. Are you monitoring what they think?
Misjudging your customers
A couple of years ago, I went out to lunch with my mom and dad. It was a work day. We had had a meeting so I was dressed in my business finest – pin stripes and all. As we were waiting to be seated, the hostess handed me a kid’s menu.Again, I repeat. It was a work day. Pin Stripes. I didn’t say anything because frankly, what can you say when someone does something so silly? But I will never forget the ludicrous nature of that error in judgment, which was simply the result of not thinking carefully. Are you similarly misjudging your customers, your leads, your audience, or your co-workers? The results can be devastating and long-lasting. Give it some thought. Careful thought.
Assume your authority is and will always be recognized
I had a teacher once who, on the first day of class, asked a student to read the class a book that had comforted the teacher when a family member was in the hospital. The book was the kind of alleged feel good book that makes you want to tear your face off. A tree was losing leaves, all of which were personified, of course. Finally it got down 2 leaves, and which one should go first, and what the journey to the ground meant. I mean, Robert Smith of The Cure would not read this book to kids. Sadly, the teacher was no longer apparently very taken with the story. Her long day of telling us about her pets and having us fill out personality cards had worn her out. She fell fast asleep. That was just the first day of school.
Are you like my silly teacher? Do you assume that everyone knows you are the leader in the industry, and therefore you get a bit careless with how you act in Social Media networks and beyond? There are tons of people encountering you every day who have no idea who you are or what your gig is. They don’t know your company or your products. They are meeting you for the first time. Do you want your first impression to be “wow, that person is CRAZY?!?” Think about how you present yourself. Authority is as authority does.
Buy into the numbers game
A friend of our family told me a year ago or so about a conversation she had with me when I was about 6. “What’s your favorite food, Margie?” I responded, “Fetuccini Alfredo.” “What’s your favorite movie, Margie?” “Oh, Amadeus.” Clearly, these answers were not particularly in the “I expected that” category. But age is just a number, a marker, and it’s not the only one. Similarly, one should not judge a Social Media campaign by the numbers. Is a Facebook fan page highly successful if it has a lot of fans? Not necessarily. Are you getting all you can out of Twitter because you have 20,000 followers? Maybe not. Ask questions. Engage. You might be surprised at what you find out.
Hope this helps.