We often talk to brands that want to get involved with social media about “being human”;  showing some personality, some emotion, some day to day, non-marketing based glimpses into their worlds and being transparent, accessible and approachable for their audience. We encourage having conversations and small talk, answering questions and building relationships with the people engaged in the social media channels you have chosen for your business. There is, however, a danger of being too human as a brand.

When it comes to showing emotion and feelings as a brand and connecting with people personally you want to be the eternally positive and friendly one. Steer away from engaging in any negativity (even if it is agreeing with negativity) and stick to portraying they types of emotions, states and feelings you want your brand associated with. In most cases you want people to associate your brand with a state of positivity, productivity, happiness, successfulness and picture your brand as helpful and friendly.

As consumers and individuals on social media there is a trend towards using social media as an outlet for frustrations, stress, rage bursts and complaints – often directed at a brand or surrounding a customer service experience. Under no circumstances should your brand be engaging in these types of statements. If you need an outlet for these, keep a personal account that doesn’t directly tie to your brand. If you are maintaining a personal brand appearance in social media you might want to keep two accounts, one public one for professional engagement and a private one for engaging in any conversation that should not be tied to your brand.

Brands should never complain
Even complaining about something seemingly innocuous like the weather or cold coffee sets a tone  for your brand. You don’t want to work with the colleague that complains and whines and you wouldn’t recommend or do business with a brand whose only impression you have is related to the negative things going on around them. Find the silver lining and share that with your audience, you can brighten their day, help their perspective and attitude and leave a good impression and not a nagging one.

Brands should never broadcast excuses
We all have things that go wrong but business must get done. Talking about how your internet provider is being wonky or how your delivery is late will only sound like excuses and delays and provide examples of why doing business with you is not a good idea. Under promise and over deliver and let your satisfied customers do the talking fr you on social media. If you have pulled off a job that you know impressed the customer, reach out to them on social media and if you can find them ask how everything went – knowing you will get a glowing review back.

Brands should not agree with a negative
You want your brand to be part of the answer, not part of the problem so if someone else is complaining about a bad day, bad service or just grumpy in general either step away from the keyboard or offer hope and help. If someone you wish to engage with is posting negative or unproductive messages “This day is so grey I can’t get motivated” “Monday’s are terrible, pass the coffee” don’t promote the negativity with “I know how you feel” “That sucks” or “Monday’s are the worst!” try sending a joke or something cute to change the mood, ask them about something positive to change the subject or just leave them alone. Although engaging with them and agreeing with them seems like a harmless thing to do it does nothing positive for your brand, it doesn’t leave them with a warm fuzzy feeling and can confirm their negative attitude – which you dont want to be associated with. The next time you see someone posting about a rough day Google “cute baby animals” or “smiling puppies”, copy the image link and send them that (if your brand image allows.) They will have a much more positive emotional association with your brand than if you agreed with them.

Be human, be compassionate, build relationships but be careful not to take on the negativity that social media can some times put out there. Venting can be cathartic for people but as a brand you don’t need to be a part of every conversation. Be the online personality that people like to chat with, that they would recommend to their peers and colleagues and maintain that your brand is ALWAYS happy to help, productive, customer focused, accountable, positive, resourceful and a great organization inside and out.

Originally posted on ReSoMe.com