Why entrepreneurs should not see social media as an Internet curse, but respect them

There is something strange about social media and branding if you’re an entrepreneur, particularly if you provide some type of professional service.

The reason? It’s because literally your reputation is the business.

You’ve probably heard that a good, healthy respect for social media and an online presence is critical — it affect you personally, it will affect your business, your employees, potential employees and perhaps most critically, your clientele.

Don’t fear it; respect it. Like social media or not, negativity can ruin the hardest-working and smartest business person.

So, a few items to consider:

Not everyone likes you

No matter how amazing or whatever you are, there is always going to be someone who just doesn’t think you’re as wonderful — and that’s OK.

The key is understanding that fact and that some folks, simply because you’re a business person, will not like you. Do what you can to address these issues from an operational standpoint, and if someone is not happy, don’t actively engage nor respond via social — aside from a simple statement: “We have received your information and are reviewing the matter. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.”

Not everything you read is legitimate

There are literally thousands of fake posts, fake reviews and other negative comments that can be said about a person or business.

But if several random posts about your business that are overtly negative appear out of blue, it should serve as a reminder that while no one and no business and no boss is perfect, reviewing and addressing the concern is an important endeavor.

Perception is reality

This is most important about social media and the brand of the entrepreneur and business. Whatever you are posting to social media, be it your personal Facebook page or Pinterest site, and whatever your business is posting, they are seen as one and the same. It’s hard, if not impossible, particularly in the professional services space, to separate the professional from the service.

Your branded content

While you may be terrified as to what to post in this hyper-offended culture — fear not. The solution is actually a fairly simple strategy — and you’re experiencing it right now. It’s called “branded content.”

Write an article about your experience or expertise. Share a few tips. Conduct some research and get that published. Create some Top 10 lists or even memes.

The bottom line is, social media is great, but it can be bad and even hurt your business — and your feelings. You have to build, protect and manage your reputation through social engagement. Create good content. Review posts, and never feel like you’re alone on an island — and don’t be afraid to call in a pro to help.

Rodger Roeser is CEO of The Eisen Agency, a public relations and content development firm. With offices in Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio, the award winning public relations and content development firm specializes in marketing communications strategies for professional services, healthcare, manufacturing and franchised organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or www.TheEisenAgency.com.