I caught some Grammy highlights while working out on Monday morning, and that prompted me to glean some social media lessons from this annual event with high celebrity star power. First, a confession: unlike most of my Facebook feed, I do NOT watch the Grammys! I was watching the Denver Nuggets lose in triple-overtime, and then I watched a couple episodes of White Collar with my lovely wife!

Now back to the Grammy Social Media Lessons:

1. Do not let your sideshow distract from your message

Carrie Underwood actually wore an LED dress that projected a dizzying array of colors and images while she sang a song. It sounds like the dress received mixed reviews, but the concept was very creative.

However, leave room for your core message to get across to the audience, too. In regards to blogs, I know I’ve quickly left a few of them when they had a dizzying array of colors and ads. When I get a headache trying to FIND your content amongst the kaleidoscope, you just lost a potential follower/customer. Use graphics and color to augment your message – not obliterate it!

2. Be aware – somebody may be watching you at all times

Frank Ocean edged out Chris Brown for Best Urban Contemporary Album. The two of them actually had a fight in the parking lot before the award ceremony. When Ocean received a standing ovation for winning the award, Chris Brown was the only guy to stay in his seat. He was ripped on both social channels and news sites afterwards.

I’m constantly telling both professionals and teenagers that they are a walking personal brand. They should always put that brand in the best light to give themselves the best opportunities to succeed. Political/Theological/Ideological rants, or inappropriate language and photos, should never be broadcast to a general audience – or EVER, in my opinion. Somebody in your social circles may be your next prospective employer or client. You are sure to lose those opportunities if you behave badly.

3. If you are going to be edgy – be prepared for the backlash

If you’ve been around for awhile, you’ve seen some of the dresses that Cher used to wear to the Oscars. MY EYES, MY EYES! She introduced plenty of skin and edginess to her wardrobe, and some of her outfits left very little to the imagination. However, critics definitely used their imagination when criticizing Cher’s wardrobe (looks like Kimbra had one of the craziest dresses this year).

I’m not advising you to “not be edgy”. If it works for your brand, and it is appealing to your customer base, then go for it. However, you will receive a backlash from the general public if your message is too edgy or offensive. Here is where a good social media monitoring tool can assist your branding efforts – you may have lost touch with your existing customers or crossed an “offensive” line that never should have been crossed. Just ask GoDaddy after their recent Super Bowl ads. Hey GoDaddy…you might want to look into Pulse Analytics. Just sayin’…

Monitor your brand, and then constructively react to what people are saying about your brand and corresponding marketing campaigns.

4. Understated elegance never goes out of style

Rihanna has introduced controversy with her own wardrobe on occasion. However, she received high marks for going with an elegant red dress at the 2013 Grammys. In fact, most of the “best dressed” celebrities at this year’s Grammy’s brought the elegance, and left the skin covered.

Well-mannered elegance, courtesy, and customer-focus never go out of style. Rather than make a spectacle of yourself with a focus on “ME…ME…ME”, put the spotlight on your customers, your employees, or even your community outreach efforts. Build a respected and trusted brand, and then people will “opt-in” to get more information about your offerings.

Did you watch the Grammy’s this year (or did you share in my misery with the Denver Nuggets losing in triple overtime)? Who represented their brand well? Who committed the social gaffes?

Photo credit: Cattias.Photos via Flickr